*Samuel Ray Palasota, 52, of Houston, has surrendered to federal authorities following the return of a 24-count indictment alleging he operated a fraudulent real estate investment scheme and defrauded a woman of $650,000, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, reports KHOU.com.
The sealed indictment charged Palasota with 21 counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Palasota held himself out as a pastor and also claimed to manage a real estate investment program, doing business under the name “The Maker’s Resources.”
From in or about December 2008 through approximately December 2009, Palasota knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud by means of material false pretenses, representations and promises, the indictment alleges.
Specifically, Palasota allegedly convinced a Mississippi woman to invest her money with him in an alleged real estate investment.
53-year-old Samuel Ray Palasota, was convicted for carrying out a religious-themed investment fraud scheme that targeted one female victim–causing a loss of $650,000. According to an FBI report, Palasota was convicted of 21 counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud; he was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison and three subsequent years or supervision.
Palasota’s victim, a Mississippi single mother with young children, looked to the pastor for emotional and spiritual advice as she went through a divorce. She testified that Palasota invited her to “invest” in a real estate opportunity. Palasota created a fake investment program called “The Maker’s Resources” and provided the victim with accompanying documentation that he drew up himself. The victim was promised a 40 percent return on an initial investment of $650,000.
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