Massive Ad Scam Targeted Real Estate Agents

May 6, 2016

A Louisiana man has been indicted in an alleged advertising scam that targeted real estate professionals and defrauded them out of $2 million. Practitioners nationwide may have fallen victim to the scam, in which they paid thousands of dollars for advertising on major television networks based on their ZIP codes. The ads never aired.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Rex Alan Harris will face mail-fraud charges for the alleged scheme. The DOJ says their investigation found that the scheme played out over eight years with hundreds of victims—and possibly more.

The DOJ reports that Harris also used names such as Michael Harris, Rex Rogan, and Rex Alan. He could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count if convicted.

Harris operated the business "Agents by City." He also operated under other business names such as "Our Family First Realty," "Better Realty Deals," "Amazing Realty Deals," "The Top Agent/Monolith Media Group," and "American Real Estate Idols."

The DOJ and the FBI are urging any real estate professionals who paid money to any of Harris' companies to contact them

Source: The U.S. Department of Justice; “Attention REALTORS®: You May Be Victim of Massive Nationwide Advertising Scam,” HousingWire (April 28, 2016); “Covington Man Indicted in Alleged $2 Million Real Estate Ad Fraud Scheme,” FOX 10-TV (April 28, 2016)