Houston man arrested in real estate forgery scheme

Accused of forging deeds to sell $15M of homes in River Oaks and his father’s townhome

Houston Man Accused in Real Estate Forgery Scheme

A Houston man was arrested Monday on charges of forgery and aggregate theft in connection with an intricate real estate scheme.

Timothy Willard, the 32-year-old “mastermind” of the operation, allegedly forged the signatures of his father and two River Oaks homeowners to fraudulently acquire and attempt to sell three properties worth over $15 million, according to Constable Alan Rosen, KHOU reported

The year-long investigation began when a River Oaks property owner discovered his 47,000-square-foot lot listed for sale on HAR.com. Upon contacting law enforcement, it was revealed that Willard allegedly had forged signatures on warranty deeds, manipulated property values and set up fictitious companies to facilitate transactions, fooling real estate professionals and title companies.

Detectives also allege that Willard facilitated an unauthorized sale of his father’s Braes Acres townhome, resulting in a $100,000 loss for the duped buyer. Willard’s father, a retired Houston firefighter, filed a complaint with the Houston Police Department after discovering the fraudulent sale.

“His own father didn’t want to come forward. Obviously, you don’t want to get your child in trouble, but ultimately he started finding out some of the stuff he was doing,” Rosen said.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The investigation exposed Willard’s alleged misdeeds, including faking notary signatures and attempting to acquire property surveys under false pretenses. Though sales of the River Oaks properties did not materialize, the owners incurred financial losses rectifying the damage.

The arrest has prompted a call for increased vigilance within the community and a reminder to report suspicious activities to law enforcement promptly.

Constable Rosen emphasized the potential impact on unsuspecting victims and urged property owners to vigilantly monitor their properties and deeds. It’s not difficult to steal property in Texas using forged signatures, and property theft is on the rise in Travis County, for example.

—Quinn Donoghue 

Read more