13 Investigates: Felony charge filed after retired teacher unknowingly signed away long-time home

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Houston retired teacher signs away home: 13 Investigates learns of charge against Malcolm Pryor, accused of scamming Wanda Jackson
Malcolm Pryor was charged after ABC13 reported on his alleged ties to a complicated scam that forced a retired teacher out of her Houston home.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A self-proclaimed real estate investor faces criminal charges due to a questionable real estate transaction that forced a retired Houston school teacher out of her long-time home.

Malcolm Pryor is facing a second-degree felony of filing a false statement to obtain credit involving $150,000 to $300,000.

ABC13 was first alerted to the plight of retired teacher Wanda Jackson in September 2023. An alert viewer saw Jackson's belongings thrown out of her front yard and contacted our newsroom.

Next, Eyewitness News uncovered a complicated web of real estate transactions that began when Jackson said she met Pryor through a church friend. Jackson said Pryor promised to fix up her house at 5119 Stuyvesant. A few months later, records show Pryor filed a mechanic's lien against Jackson's home, and soon after that, Jackson signed a warranty deed, effectively handing her home over to Pryor.

As ABC13 reported in February, Jackson, was recovering from COVID-19 during that time and didn't remember signing any of the documents.

It was too late when Jackson realized she no longer owned the home. She was evicted in September and has lived in a nearby apartment complex ever since.

"This place is nice," Jackson said when ABC13 met with her again on Monday. "It's a place to stay, but I'm so accustomed to my house. My former house."

The Houston Police Department opened an investigation, and on March 13, Pryor was criminally charged. In court documents, investigators accuse Pryor of faking bank statements that showed he had more than $75,000 in the bank when he only had $255. They allege Pryor faked retirement records by putting his name on his wife's Kinder Morgan retirement account.

Court records show those false financial documents led to Noble Mortgage approving a $262,000 loan to Pryor, which he never paid. Noble then foreclosed on the house, losing $40,000 in the process. Records show that the home was sold at an auction and then sold to a house flipper.

All the while, Jackson is still in that apartment.

"Double the bills for the rent," she lamented. "I never dreamed I'd be paying $1,600 a month for two rooms."

Jackson's plight and the loss of her home are not news to Bill Baldwin, owner of Boulevard Realty. ABC13 asked Baldwin to review the real estate documents over the past few months, and he had pointed out several issues even before criminal charges were filed.

"The evidence would clearly suggest that documents were irregular when obtaining a loan for this property," Baldwin said. "Of course, people are innocent until proven guilty, but what you hope is something is done that keeps this from happening again to other people, and something happens to help Ms. Jackson and the lender be made whole."

While the lender, Noble Mortgage, lost money, which is why Pryor is facing criminal charges, Jackson is genuinely at a loss.

"I consider myself a victim. What are you going to do about my situation?" she asked, hoping someone could answer the question with a happy resolution.

Several of Jackson's former students started a GoFundMe account to help raise money and pay her bills, but it's nowhere near enough to return her home.

ABC13 spoke to the home's current owner, who was unaware of the house's history. He was planning on selling the home but is still refurbishing it.

As of Monday night, there is a warrant out for Pryor's arrest, but he has not yet been arrested. Calls to his listed phone numbers went unanswered.

For news updates, follow Miya Shay on Facebook, X and Instagram.