Industry News

Attorney General shuts down Texas housing scam

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has permanently shut down a housing scam that allegedly defrauded primarily Hispanic consumers out of tens of thousands of dollars in the Dallas area, the attorney's office announced Thursday. The lawsuit, filed in April 2005 under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, has resulted in a permanent injunction and default judgment against Dallas-based FCI Equities Inc., and several individuals who participated in a scheme that involved the sale of homes without valid property titles. The court imposed fines of $103,000 toward consumer restitution against the operation and its associates, to be paid by the operation's lead proprietor, Jose Demetrio Murrugarra of Dallas. Jose Menjarez, a Dallas man who posed as an attorney to offer legal services to victims of the housing scam, was charged with $10,900 in civil penalties and restitution for consumers for his part in the deceptive scheme. "It is a disgrace that these scam artists preyed on consumers' d...