Greenwood, LA man arrested for fake land deals | Crime
CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A Greenwood, Louisiana man was arrested by deputies for allegedly deceiving friends and relatives out of millions of dollars in land and royalties.
Willie Draper, 64, was arrested late Tuesday following an investigation by detectives with the Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force.
Detectives say Draper partnered with two land leasing companies in June and offered to arrange leasing deals with residents of the Greenwood-Bethany community, for a percentage of the deal.
However, deputies say Draper never met with residents and instead forged documents saying that they had agreed to sell their land. The company, in turn, paid Draper for those forged leases and ultimately paid Draper some $50,000.
That money was reportedly supposed to have been distributed to the landowners, but instead, deputies say Draper pocketed the money.
Authorities were made aware of the alleged thefts when the original land owners tried to pay taxes on their properties and learned that the land had been deeded over or sold without their permission.
Caddo Sheriff’s investigators say so far 19 victims have been identified and approximately 88 acres of mineral rights and royalties had been stolen.
Draper faces five counts of felony theft and four counts of forgery. Caddo Sheriff’s deputies are still searching for any other potential victims. Suspected victims are asked to call Caddo Sheriff Detective Herring at (318) 681-0770.
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