Dirty deeds: An alleged real estate scam from beyond the grave

They were dead for years, yet they supposedly signed over their family homes to one Dallas man.

Paul Dodson’s great-grandparents died years ago, along with his grandmother.

So, how did their signatures recently appear on warranty deeds handing over the family home to a company operated by a Dallas-area real estate investor?

“I was floored,” Dodson told WFAA. “I really could not believe the home had sold and anything had happened with it. It was devastating news.”

A WFAA investigation found more than a half-dozen properties had been deeded over to companies owned by a man named William Baldridge under questionable circumstances.

In Dodson’s case and several others, there are signatures of dead people on the deeds, while in others, WFAA found signatures of people who do not appear to exist.

Baldridge later sold the homes, often for cash. Mesquite police searched his home earlier this year, seizing laptops, paperwork, and phones, as part of an investigation into alleged real estate fraud involving a Mesquite home and “multiple other properties in Dallas County.”

Baldridge declined to speak to WFAA when approached outside a court hearing last month.

“I believe from my research that this goes back many years and that there are other people involved,” attorney Carla Rankin told WFAA.

Rankin, who represents Baldridge’s ex-wife in a battle over alimony and child support, said she uncovered the questionable deed title transfers while researching his finances and saw his phone number on a Houston real estate listing.

She told WFAA she discovered a warranty deed transferring title of the property that had been signed by an individual who died years earlier. The property had been conveyed from one Baldridge company to another, records show.

See the full WFAA article

Author: Tanya Eiserer, Mark Smith
Published: 9:58 PM CDT May 29, 2019
Updated: 5:51 AM CDT May 30, 2019

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