Fidelity's Las Vegas operation closed a residential purchase transaction in September 2011. The transaction had a sale price of $236,955, with a new first loan in the amount of $142,173 and a third-party deposit for the balance. Fast forward four months and the Fidelity office is contacted by the son of the third-party depositor claiming his mother had been swindled out of more than $93,000!
According to the son, his elderly mother was manipulated by Bryan Williams, president of Adventure Capital, Inc., to "invest" more than $93,000 in a real estate purchase transaction in exchange for an immediate return on her investment, plus a fee of nearly $6,500. But she had to act NOW!
The deal was ready to close. The elderly woman was provided with legitimate wire transfer instructions for Fidelity's trust account and promptly wired the funds. Several days later, she received a check for her capital investment and her fee. She was elated at the ease of her part in the transaction, until she deposited the check for $100,000 and – you guessed it – the check bounced sky high. The woman contacted her son who began investigating the crime.
The escrow officer in the transaction received the wire transfer from the elderly woman and, in turn, demanded third-party deposit instructions be executed by the depositor. These instructions authorized Fidelity to use the funds to the benefit of the buyers in the transaction. The escrow officer had no contact information for the depositing party so she sent the instructions to Williams to obtain the elderly woman's signature. Williams supposedly had the instructions signed by her and the buyers, before returning them to the escrow officer.
Although the contract called for an all-cash purchase, the escrow officer received loan documents. The documents were from a private lender and there was no requirement for verification of the funds used as down payment at closing. The escrow officer disclosed the third-party deposit on line 204 of the settlement statement so the lender would be aware the down payment came from someone other than the buyer, and proceeded to close.
Since receiving the call from the depositor's son, we have discovered the buyers executed a second deed of trust in the amount of $100,000 in favor of Adventure Capital two months after closing. However, Adventure Capital has still not made good on the $100,000 check they wrote to the elderly woman in exchange for her $93,000-plus wire. As of January 10, 2012, Adventure Capital is no longer licensed to conduct business in the state of Nevada. The company's websites have all been shut down and their doors are no longer open.
The Fidelity operation performed a search on Williams and Adventure Capital to find out if they had previously handled any transactions involving him or his company and they discovered one cancelled transaction. The operation also performed a Google™ search on Williams and Adventure Capital producing the following comments:
"If you are considering working with this company or Bryan Williams, I suggest you reconsider. Our house went into foreclosure in Feb. 2011. A Realtor, Glenda Weiss, directed us to this company. They seemed so nice and knowledgeable and befriended us as if we were part of their family. They told us that Adventure Capital was a lending company who worked with a group of private investors and they could get us a loan with no problem. We found our dream home and put in an offer. When we were ready to close escrow Bryan Williams had us wire our down payment (our life's savings) of $75,000 into their bank account. He said they needed it to fund the loan. After we signed all of the title docs at closing the loan never funded. We never received keys or our $75,000 back. These people are thieves who steal the dreams of innocent people. Unless you are prepared to be ripped off by criminal minds, STAY AWAY!"
As a result of the above facts, this matter has been referred to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI. Fidelity's underwriting department has issued a Fraud Prevention Memo prohibiting our Family of Companies from conducting any transactions involving Bryan Williams or Adventure Capital.