Couple claims fraud, conspiracy in housing swap scheme

By Carol Ostrow | Mar 12, 2015

A Galveston County couple is suing three men, alleging conspiracy and fraud in a 2011 incident.

Jose and Delores Lara filed charges against Matthew Wiggins Jr. of Kemah, and Jack Fryday and Steven Stafford of Harris County in the in the 122nd District Court, Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, on grounds of fraud and conspiracy.

The Laras allege that they discovered unlawful conduct by the defendants on Jan. 20, 2011 and claim their home was acquired illegally by Wiggins after Hurricane Ike.

The plaintiffs, who are not English-speaking, maintain that they were knowingly deceived by Wiggins and Fryday into trading their home for a house located in South Shore Harbour; and that all defendants performed similar schemes with other area homeowners.

The couple claims they were made to believe that they had to comply with the defendants at the risk of being made homeless. Several repairs were at issue in both residences.

Charging fraud, inducement and conspiracy, the plaintiffs request the court to impose a constructive trust on their home at 20 W. 8th St., Kemah and seek monetary relief of $100,000 to $200,000, plus attorney fees and costs. They are represented by Ronald Hall of Houston.

U.S. District Court Southeast Texas Case GC_15CV0039


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