Two Additional Defendants Charged in $26 Million Real Estate Scam
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas
Two more defendants have been charged for scamming Chinese investors out of more than $26 million, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Stephen Wall, 65, and Saskya Bedoya, 42, were charged in a superseding indictment filed this week with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. They are scheduled to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Rebecca Rutherford on December 22, 2023.
According to the indictment, Mr. Wall and Ms. Bedoya conspired with Timothy Lynch Barton to market real estate investment opportunities in Texas to Chinese investors.
During presentations – which highlighted Mr. Barton’s supposed ties to U.S. politicians – Mr. Barton and Mr. Wall allegedly claimed that the properties in question were located in sought-after neighborhoods in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Mr. Wall was introduced as a builder who would purchase lots to build on to sell to future home buyers.
Investors were promised annual interest payments for two years, followed by the return of their initial investment at the end of the second year. It was alleged that the investors would contribute 80 percent of the funds necessary for the project, and Mr. Barton and Mr. Wall would contribute the remaining 20 percent. It was also represented that no commissions would be paid out of investor funds.
In loan agreements signed by the investors, the cost of each property was inflated by as much as 195 percent, and in some instances, never actually purchased the property. Early investors were allegedly paid interest payments with investor funds from later projects.
Contrary to loan agreements, the defendants allegedly paid commissions out of investors’ funds, and even funneled investors’ money into unrelated projects. Still other funds were used to pay consultants or even to pay an unrelated company’s AmEx bill. According to the indictment, investors lost more than $26,000,000 to the scheme.
An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. The defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and up to 20 years in federal prison for securities fraud.
Defendant, Mark Adams, 61, previously pled guilty in September 2022 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the scheme. Additionally, codefendant, Haoqiang Fu a/k/a Michael Fu, 49, pled guilty in October 2022 to the sale of unregistered securities. Both are scheduled to be sentenced on February 21, 2024, and face up to five years in federal prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Renee Hunter is prosecuting the case.
Public Affairs Officer
Updated December 13, 2023