Houston man accused of scamming people out of $787K in property scheme

Courtney Carpenter Image
Thursday, August 18, 2022
Man accused of scamming $787K from 11 victims while out on bond
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One of the victims in a sophisticated real estate scam operation said he should have listened to his gut before shelling out $200,000 that may be lost forever.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Records show that a 59-year-old man is behind bars after being accused of scamming people out of more than $700,000.

Robert Gibson is in the Harris County Jail and charged with aggregate theft after allegedly scheming victims from August 2019 until April 2022, according to Harris County Assistant District Attorney Sheila Hansel.

Hansel said Gibson would tell people he had inside knowledge and could help them buy properties at a discount that were about to go to auction at the delinquent tax sale.

"The people relied on that assertion to think they were going to get a really good deal. So, they gave him tens of thousands of dollars each and never got a piece of property because no property was ever purchased by Mr. Gibson," Hansel explained.

Gibson is accused of scamming 11 people out of about $787,000. Properties located in the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas were involved in the alleged scheme. There are some local victims, but others are from as far as California.

Ray Bloom is one local man who got caught up in the scheme. He said he gave Gibson about $200,000 to buy investment properties around the Houston area and now does not have any of that money or any of the deeds to the promised property in his name.

"We want to know, 'Where is the money? What's happening with all of this money that's being taken?' None of the properties were ever deeded to us. We were promised a deed for months and months and months and it was always a different story. He's in the hospital. He's sick. COVID, that was a big one," Bloom said.

Bloom said looking back, there were red flags throughout the process. However, he said Gibson was convincing and personable, making them believe they would be getting these properties.

"He did actually give us a refund on one of our properties. So, we felt a little more comfortable. So, we bought other properties from him. Eventually, he wrote us a hot check for $117,000, and, you know, we were really livid then," Bloom explained.

Court records show this is not Gibson's first time allegedly running a scheme like this.

"At the time this new scam was being run, the most recent one that just ended earlier this year. He was actually out on bond for doing this same thing, with a little subtle difference, to another set of victims. It was also a first-degree felony, which means he stole more than $300,000 from those folks as well," Hansel explained.

If convicted, Gibson could face five years to life. For Ray and his family, this is an expensive lesson learned in trusting your instincts.

"We don't ever want this to happen to anybody else. Definitely do your homework on it," Bloom said.

For now, Gibson is held in the Harris County Jail with no bond. He will have a bond hearing in 60 days.

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