I-Team: Beato Real Estate Fraud Investigation

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)  A bizarre twist today in a story the I-Team has been working on for two years. Former Luzerne County Real Estate agent Ignacio Beato was expected to plead guilty, today, to scamming people out of their life's  savings.  But the plea did not happen.  The I-Team's Andy Mehalshick has our story.


It all has to do with a bureaucratic  mix up. .For some unexplained reason, federal officials did not know that Beato was being held in Luzerne County. They sent a transportation order to Lackawana County., He wasn't there. He is at the Luzerne County Prison, The bottom line he was never brought  to the federal courthouse. In the middle of all of this confusion. A lawsuit against Beato did  make it to the courthouse

 "I don't feel disappointed "

That's how Felix Cabrera reacted after learning that Ignacio Beato's expected guilty plea would not take place afterall.
   Cabrera,  is one of about a dozen people who say Beato took their money and in exchange for houses he had no right to sell. They were all evicted from those homes. Federal agents say Beato stole $750,000  from people who trusted him.
  Cabrera brought his family to court to see justice served but he's a patient  man...

 
"It's justice getting done for me to come all the way out here its nothing. What it gives me is peace that it is going to get done."

Beato was also slapped with a federal lawsuit this week. Eight of his alleged victims sued Beato and six real estate  agencies he had worked for.

  The suit claims those agencies were negligent and they should have been aware of Beato's alleged scam.

    The case has caught the attention of the Spanish Language  Univision Televison Network based in New York City.
 Federal agents say their may be more victims in New York State.

 
"This happens way too much in the Latino community. We tend to put our trust in one person and in this case these people gave him their life's savings and it was all a fraud."  said Yisel Tejeda, of Univision TV Network

Beato will have a hearing later in May.


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