Greenwood Man Arrested for Arranging Fake Land Deals
A Greenwood man is in jail, accused of swindling nearly 20 people out of millions in land and royalties from fake land deals. Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force detectives say 64-year-old Willie Draper allegedly approached two land-leasing companies in June and offered to arrange leasing deals with people in the Greenwood-Bethany community for a percentage of the deal. But he never met with the people, and instead forged documents saying they'd agreed to sell their land. Then he brought the fraudulent deeds to land-leasing companies, which purchased the land based on the forged documents. Draper is said to have been paid some $50,000 in money orders and cash, which he claimed he was distributing to the landowners, but pocketed himself. The thefts came to light when the original land owners tried to pay taxes on their properties -- only to learn the land had been deeded over or sold without their permission. So far, 19 individuals who have suffered losses from the scheme have come forward. If you might be a victim, too, contact Sheriff's Detective Bobby Herring and let him know. Draper, meantime, is facing five felony theft and four forgery charges.