Wake Couple Find Themselves Victims Of Real Estate Pyramid Scheme
Posted July 20, 2005
RALEIGH, N.C. — Late Tuesday afternoon, FBI agents arrested Jim Davis on fraud charges. They said he schemed with a builder to inflate home prices. They said, then he would find someone to buy the house at the inflated price. The FBI said the builder got the original asking price of the house, Davis pocketed the rest, but a Five On Your Side investigation shows there is even more to the story.
Rob and Lynn Oakley thought their 3,300-square-foot house was sold, but they found that they were the unsuspecting victims in a real estate pyramid scheme.
"We hope that they'll be stopped, so they can't do it to anybody else," said Rob Oakley.
Oakley is referring to Easy Financial Services. Just weeks after the couple put their home on the market, they reached a deal with the "real estate investment" company. Owner Jim Davis had an "investor" who wanted to buy the house.
"We were excited," said Lynn Oakley.
But just before closing, the Oakleys got a call from the lender about a mysterious additional $7,000 in closing costs.
"I said, 'why did you think that I was going to pay that?' and they said, 'Well, it's on the contract,' and I said it's not on the contract that I signed," Lynn Oakley said.
The lender faxed the contract. A blank on the Oakley's copy showed "NOT TO EXCEED $7000" on the lender's copy. Oakley said Jim Davis called, warning her to pay the $7,000 or the sale would fall through.
"It seems like to me they were trying to get us over a barrel and think they knew we had moved out of our home, so therefore they thought that we would just give in and pay the money, but at that point, it became a matter of principle," Lynn Oakley said.
Five On Your Side has two other complaints about Easy Financial. The state Attorney General has at least eight. Five On Your Side could not reach Jim Davis, but our investigation found in January, Davis was arrested on fraud charges, However, Raleigh police could not give specifics.
Five On Your Side also found out it appears he gets investors from his other company, Eagle Investment Group. His Web site touts earnings of "$5,000 to $10,000 per deal."
One "investor" told Five On Your Side that he has not made the money Davis promised is out at least $5,000 and is now concerned about his credit. One "tenant" said she paid Davis $7,000 with the option to own a home. She said he was supposed to use her monthly rent payments to pay the mortgage, but she said the homeowner told her it's not being paid.
Now, a month after the Oakleys had to move out, even though their house is listed as sold, it is now back on the market.
The FBI points out Davis is not even a licensed real estate agent, so legally he cannot be involved in those types of transactions.