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Two Houston Lawyers Indicted on Fraud Charges Relating to Mortgage
Two lawyers in Houston, Texas are facing felony charges related to a reported mortgage fraud, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Brian Storts is an attorney and a firefighter in the city. He faces up to life in prison after being indicted on a first-degree felony charge of giving false statements to obtain credit.

Storts used false financial documents to purchase a house at $400,000 for another attorney who was under investigation in a separate case, according to Assistant Harris County District Attorney Lester Blizzard.

"The DA's office takes very seriously lawyers who have fallen in their duties and responsibilities to their clients," Blizzard said. "We're hopeful that a message will be sent to other lawyers about how they handle the funds of the people they represent."

The second attorney, Ricardo Baca, was indicted in the same case as Storts. Baca was accused of bilking a criminal defense lawyer out of $210,000 in exchange for part ownership of five cell phone stores.

Following plea negotiations Tuesday, Blizzard said that the deal never occurred.

“It was a scam.”

Baca was expected to agree to a plea bargain late in the week, according to attorney Chip Lewis. Lewis said Baca is negotiating how much restitution to pay and what is going to happen to his client’s law license.

"We hope to have this finalized with the result that he pleads no-contest to both charges," Lewis said. "I believe there is a balance of about $42,000 that needs to be taken care of."

Baca has been charged with providing false statements to obtain credit and charged with a third-degree felony of misapplication of fiduciary property. Baca is expected to plead guilty in front of state District Judge Jeanine Barr. Barr will decide the punishment levied on Baca.

The attorney for Storts, Dee McWilliams, said the following:

"Brian is an excellent firefighter and an important member of the community. His primary avocation and his true love is being a firefighter and what happens in this case could affect his future doing that."

Storts spent time as a member of the board of directors for the Houston Professional Firefighter Union from 1998 to 2003. Storts is being reassigned by the Houston Fire Department into an administrative position pending the result of the investigation.

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