Originally Published: September 21, 2018 9:17 p.m.
Authorities say a man obtained more than $7 million in real estate in Yavapai and Maricopa counties through fraud and forgery.
Jesse Thacker, 30, faces charges including fraud, 14 counts of forgery, impersonation-ID theft, and theft, according to a release from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.
The Paradise Valley Police Department contacted YCSO detectives on Sept. 13, 2018, for assistance in a fraud case. A woman claimed someone had forged documents showing she had signed over her property in the 16000 block of South Cordes Lakes Drive, Cordes Lakes, to a person in Indiana, according to the release. The deed had been filed with Maricopa County as a legal document.
It was later learned the notary signature was a forgery, the release states.
Detectives tracked internet activity, which led them to identifying Thacker as residing at the Cordes Lakes Drive address.
Paradise Valley detectives also discovered several additional title/deed related documents had been filed in both Maricopa and Yavapai counties from Thacker’s computer, along with forged notary signatures, the release states. YCSO detectives researched the leads provided and found 11 Yavapai County properties had been deeded to names associated with Thacker who apparently also obtained his own notary license and stamp, authorities said.
The victims in both counties were either deceased or older, or the home had been foreclosed on and was sitting idle.
Yavapai County properties traced to the fraud include the home Thacker was living in, two properties on Marble Canyon in Cordes Lakes, Juniper Drive in Chino Valley, Grasshopper Lane in Chino Valley, Cimarron Drive in Camp Verde, Miners Gulch Drive in Clarksdale, Page Springs Road in Cornville, Cordes Lakes Drive in Cordes Lakes, Demerse Avenue in Prescott, and Lonesome Hawk Drive in Prescott, according to the release.
On Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, YCSO and Paradise Valley detectives served a search warrant at the home in the 16000 block of South Cordes Lakes Drive. Detectives found a notebook containing an out-line of the fraudulent activities authored by Thacker, according to authorities. There were pages of signatures from victims used by Thacker so he could practice writing their names.
He indicated part of his plan was to start a real estate company, transfer the properties to that company and then sell them, the release states. He also allegedly admits in his writings, “If I keep doing it, I’m really going to get in big trouble.”
Detectives found stacks of paperwork connected to the various victims in both counties.
Thacker said he was only taking property from foreclosure companies that were “committing fraud” by taking properties in the first place, according to the release. He used internet real estate sites to find foreclosed properties and was able to cut and paste necessary information from legitimate documents to create forgeries.
He would initially use fictitious names or names of friends he grew up with and planned to later put the properties in his name, the release states.
In addition to the Yavapai County addresses, 13 properties in Maricopa County were involved in the scheme.
Thacker remains in the Camp Verde Detention Center on $500,000 bond, according to the release.