Troubleshooters: Waterfall House

Posted at 7:50 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 23:42:39-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We've all heard the saying.., If it sounds too good to be true, t probably is.

This Troubleshooters report is proof of that yet again.

And this time, a local businessman appears to be a victim.

He responded to an ad on social media that read in part $50K or best offer, for a house on the city's west side.

The businessman made the deal the next day. Problem is, he wasn't the only one. And the house still has not been sold.

The man who called us is Willie Morales Jr.

And beginning Friday night, April 1, he saw an ad on social media about a house for sale on Waterfall. And no, this isn't an April Fool's joke.

"So that Friday night, around 10, I came and looked at it, and I liked the outside, so." Morales recalled.

Remember, the ad stated "First person to bring forth a cashiers check, takes the deal" for the house on the city's West side.

"Asking $50K, OBO, or best offer. It was a helluva deal for the amount of dollars he wanted," Morales told us.

So Saturday morning, Morales says the person making the offer gave him the combination to the lock box, where Morales then accessed the key to the front door and went inside.

"So at 3 o'clock, he came over to my car lot and I gave him a check for X amount of dollars," he said.

Morales told CCPD he gave this man a check for $25,000.00.

But wait a minute!
Who is this man?
What's his name?

"Did you check out if he was a licensed realtor of any kind? Did you check on if he had any official credentials that gave him the right to sell this house to you?" the Troubleshooters asked Morales, a businessman himself.

"No I didn't. I just went by what he sent me on Facebook," he said.

Morales identified him to CCPD as Jaime Rodriguez in a CCPD report.

He told the Troubleshooters Rodriguez told him he was a real estate investor.

He buys and sells homes. Sounds like he really sold Morales on this one.

"And not only me. There were two other folks that same day. That same Saturday that were scammed with this same house," Morales told us.

Now this is where it gets real interesting.

The last line of the initial CCPD report written by a Detective Bustamante April 13 states:

"I found that the same vehicle was involved in a similar case involving same address on Waterfall."

Morales further told CCPD that Rodriguez was driving a red pick-up truck with Texas license plate # P-N-T 6404. And that when Morales asked him to see some ID:

"I went outside to approach him. He was already leaving. He said 'I left it at home.'"

The Troubleshooters spoke with Savannah Zamora, the real estate agent who placed her sign in the front yard on the home on April 4, the same day Rodriguez was there.

Zamora recalled Rodriguez telling her, he was a real estate investor.

"Initially, when I met up with him, I was under the impression he was just trying to find a potential buyer for it," she told the Troubleshooters.

Later that Saturday night, a woman called Zamora and told her she thought she'd bought the house from Rodriguez earlier.

In fact, Zamora remembers at least five other people calling her about the house after she put her sign in the front yard.

"That's when it was brought to my attention that this was somebody that was scamming somebody," she said.

So how did Jaime Rodriguez, who is not a licensed real estate agent in Texas, pull this off?

How did he get a key to the house in the first place? Who gave him access?

Zamora says it was another agent in Corpus Christi.

Last Friday, Zamora told us the house is still under contract.

Also on Friday, Morales says he met with another CCPD detective, and was told they've begun an investigation into what the detective says is a state jail felony.

We'll continue following this story.