Dallas real estate developer Timothy Barton is facing federal charges for allegedly scamming over $26 million out of Chinese nationals, who believed they were investing in North Texas properties and instead used their money for personal expenses.
Dallas News says that Barton could spend decades in prison if convicted of the charges. Charges include, multiple counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad Meacham made the announcement.
Barton homebuilder Stephen Wall and businessman Haoqiang Fu are being accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of operating a fraudulent real estate investment offering. According to Dallas News, Barton allegedly traveled to Hangzhou, China to shop real estate investment opportunities in Texas to Chinese investors and told them in presentations that properties were located in popular Dallas-Fort Worth neighborhoods.
Dallas News reports that the U.S. Attorney's Office said a builder would purchase lots to sell to future homebuyers. They said Barton promised investors annual interest payments for two years. Barton is being accused of inflating the cost of each property by almost 195% and in some cases never actually bought the property.
The investors ended up putting the projects into bankruptcy, including hundreds of acres across North Texas. According to Dallas News, entities connected to those developments filed for bankruptcy in August 2022. Barton proposed multiple properties but never actually broke ground on projects across North Texas, including a hotel tower in Frisco, a condo, and Oriental hotel in Dallas.
If you like my work, consider buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/larrymlease