The owner of several Arizona real estate companies will spend more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding dozens of Hispanic families out of millions of dollars.
According to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Francisco Aguirre used several real estate companies to prey on 40 families in Arizona by seemingly selling them a home. But, in reality, Aguirre did not actually sell the properties in question to the supposed buyers.
“Aguirre’s actions were absolutely despicable,” Brnovich said. “He prayed on Hispanic families by using his multimedia broadcast show to put himself in a position of trust in the community. These families believed Aguirre would help them turn their dream of home ownership into a reality, instead they were scammed out of their life savings.”
According to Brnovich’s office, Aguirre pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices, one count of theft, and two counts of forgery.
Court documents showed that between 2013 and 2015, Aguirre defrauded mostly Spanish-speaking families in Arizona who wanted to buy homes.
The victims believed they were buying a home from Aguirre and provided him with a down payment, only to later find out that they never owned, or had a title, to the home itself.
According to Brnovich’s office, many of the victimized families were later forced to vacate the homes even though they had already paid Aguirre thousands of dollars in what they thought were down payments or monthly mortgage payments.
In some instances, Aguirre attempted to sell the same home to separate victims.
Aguirre’s fraud scheme was carried out by his various companies: Montecristo Properties, Montecristo Property Investments, and San Marino Property Investments.
As a result of his guilty plea, a judge ordered Aguirre to spend 7.5 years in prison. Upon his release, Aguirre will be placed on six years of probation.
Additionally, Aguirre must pay $2 million dollars in full restitution to the victims of the real estate scam.