A husband-and-wife team of real estate brokers in Virginia have been accused of stealing $300,000 in a scheme that allowed them to collect commission advances for sales that either failed or simply been invented.
Federal prosecutors say Jessee Allen Deloach, 40, and his wife Natasha Ashley Miller Deloach, 38, doctored at least 19 sales contracts between 2016 and 2019 and submitted them to numerous pre-commission firms in multiple states.
Upfront commission companies pay real estate agents all or part of their commission before a sale closes in exchange for a commission. The broker would then refund the money once the sale is completed.
When questioned by the FBI, Jessee Deloach admitted he and his wife started forging documents because “the bills were tight” and they needed the money, according to court documents.
A message left for Jessee Deloach’s lawyer was not immediately returned. A woman who answered the phone at the public defender’s office representing Natasha Deloach said no one was authorized to comment and hung up the phone.
The Deloachs, owners of Koltown Properties in Wise and Abingdon, Va., allegedly falsified documents to show a sale was agreed when it was not, or even to create an entirely bogus sale, said the prosecutors.
In some cases, the Deloachs are accused of forging owners’ signatures. In other cases, they are also accused of saying they were the only broker on a sale and didn’t have to split commission with anyone, when that wasn’t true. , prosecutors said.
The couple are also accused of inventing a fake title company to verify that a sale was taking place.
In a fake sale, the couple allegedly took a $13,000 advance from an Oklahoma lender for the sale of a home in Bristol, Va., with an alleged purchase price of $610,000 . Investigators say the house was never sold.
In another case, the Deloachs are accused of taking a $7,600 advance on the alleged sale of a $197,000 home in Wise, Va., prosecutors said.
Both Deloach were indicted this week by a grand jury in the Western District of Virginia for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.