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Press Release

Shadow Creek Ranch manager pleads guilty to scamming HOA company

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON - A 63-year-old Houston resident has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Maria Denise Southall-Shaw was the former manager of Shadow Creek Ranch in Pearland. Today, she admitted to defrauding FirstService Residential, a company which managed Shadow Creek Ranch’s homeowner associations and had employed Southall-Shaw.

As part of her plea, Southall-Shaw admitted she approved invoices from a vendor for goods and services which she knew had not been provided. In return, the vendor then provided kickbacks to her.

From November 2013 through November 2017, the vendor would pay Southall-Shaw half of payments they received from the fraudulent invoices, which were allegedly for goods such as pool equipment and supplies but not actually provided to Shadow Creek Ranch. Southall-Shaw admitted she approved the invoices. In return, the vendor made his payments to Shawdashian Group, a company Southall-Shaw owned.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane accepted Southall-Shaw’s guilty plea and set sentencing for Sept. 19. At that time, Southall-Shaw faces up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

She was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Braddock is prosecuting the case.

Updated May 12, 2023

Financial Fraud