Modesto man faces new real estate fraud charges

08/05/2014 3:49 PM

08/05/2014 7:34 PM

A Modesto man facing trial on fraud counts in Texas was rearrested here Tuesday on new charges of swindling real estate investors in California, with combined profits topping $1.26 million, authorities say.

Xue Heu, 37, fabricated documents while duping Central Valley people into giving him money for property deals, reads an indictment handed up Thursday by a federal grand jury in Fresno. Rather than buying land, more than $360,000 went into his bank accounts or was used “for other purposes” over six years, the document says.

Heu initially was arrested in late May along with Dick Price, 71, also of Modesto, and accused of bilking $903,500 from Texas investors in conspiracy with Mark Steven Thompson, who is believed to have lived in Oakdale. The Texas indictment said Heu and Price pretended to represent government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to fraudulently sell eight properties in San Antonio and Houston, and five in undisclosed California cities.

At the time, Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager said she expected the men would face additional federal charges here. Her real estate fraud unit cooperated with the FBI and federal prosecutors in both cases.

The local indictment against Heu cites “numerous victims” and specifies eight counts of wire fraud related to the suspected conspiracy, half involving Modesto: a Modesto victim identified only by the initials “J.M.” is said to have lost $20,000, and three others are said to have wired a combined $41,300 to Heu’s Modesto accounts via New York banks, the document says. Other victims were in Sacramento and El Dorado Hills, the indictment says.

Heu, who also has lived in Sacramento County, portrayed himself as chief executive officer of Liquid Assets & Land Investments Inc. in some deals, the document says. In others, he claimed to be a land developer and the owner of Capital Land Investments LLC to persuade victims to gather other investors interested in flipping foreclosed homes, the paper says.

To keep investors from getting suspicious, Heu forged signatures on fake deeds and produced bogus papers indicating that his company had negotiated settlements with a federal housing agency, the indictment says. He “duped the investors into believing Heu’s real estate investment transactions were legitimate when, in fact, they were fraudulent,” the document reads.

Heu, Price and Thompson are scheduled to go to trial Sept. 22 in the Texas case, federal documents say. The earlier indictment said Heu had used the alias Michael Chan, and Price had gone by Albert Martin and Matt Taylor. Featured in that scam were Cal East Escrow of Manteca and Norstate Escrow of Modesto, the document said.

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