Telemarketing Scammer Conned 290 People In 47 States & Canada Into Buying $18 Million In Fake Detroit Real Estate
Joseph Haden conned hundreds of people into buying $18 million of fake Detroit real estate from his office in Florida. He is now going to prison for 52 months.
Haden and his team of telemarketers made unsolicited calls to the victims. They then convinced them the Detroit properties were bank-owned and that Haden could buy them for a fraction of their true value. The telemarketers also promised the unsuspecting victims that they would be able to quickly resell the properties. Haden’s employees told people they had hedge funds and foreign investors who were eager to jump into the cheap Detroit real estate market. They claimed that many foreign investors were already lining up to purchase blocks of homes.
Telemarketers would convince people to purchase a single home to see how the process worked. The telemarketing operation would also make it appear as though the property was quickly sold for a profit. The properties were transferred to a shell company for no money.
In addition, Haden began working the phones as a “Fronter”. The Fronter would make the initial call to the victims to convince them to purchase the properties. Haden later placed the various companies associated with the scheme in his name to help the scheme avoid detection.
Consequently, Haden pocketed more than $100,000 from the illegal operation. Selling the fake Detroit real estate also help bankroll Haden’s lifestyle, which included buying a motorcycle and a Cadillac.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told the media, “Any scheme to defraud is reprehensible but this scheme is particularly egregious because it undermines efforts to revitalize real estate investment in Detroit.”
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