One of North Texas’ most outrageous real estate fraud schemes ended just as 2018 began to take shape.

Nancy Carroll, or Nancy Jackson Spinks, as she is sometimes called, walked into a Tarrant County district courtroom on January 4th with her attorney by her side, her husband Bubba Spinks, 23 years younger, sitting alone on the last bench in the back of the courtroom. 

But the 46-year-old left in handcuffs, wasting no time in serving the 10-year reduced sentence bestowed on her that day by Judge George Gallagher as reparation for the more than $8.6 million she stole through money-laundering from 23 victims at Millennium Title in Southlake. She stole funds clients had entrusted to her through home sales and closings, 1041 Exchanges, and even life insurance funds, such as the family of Jeremiah Adam Wright. Wright’s widow hired Carroll to create a trust account for the $100,000 she and her two young daughters received in insurance funds after her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2005. Carroll wrote the family and said she would apply for a tax identification number for the estate, then deposit the funds to a court registry in Wise County.

The funds were never deposited.

According to court records, Carroll committed multiple acts of money laundering throughout North Texas, and used stolen money to pay off notes on her own personal real estate purchases. She also created a Ponzi-like scheme of placing other’s real estate assets into trusts to hide her ownership of them. One victim told me he was mowing the lawn at his McKinney home when he was served with foreclosure documents on his prior home — a home he had sold, or believed he had sold, through Nancy Carroll. Instead, she put the property in a trust, never wired the payoff, but made the monthly payments. Once she stopped making the payments, the bank began foreclosure proceedings. At least one North Texas real estate firm was sending letters to customers like this:

In court, Nancy Carroll was meek, downtrodden and remorseful, a far cry from the woman who fled Texas to suburban Chicago just weeks before officials with the Texas Department of Insurance took her Southlake company into receivership. She called her mother from Illinois, where she was leasing a home for $8,500 a month, saying she wanted to get in touch with the publisher of “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and had already started writing the first chapter of her book/movie,  “Everything that Glitters is not Gold”, which would star Reese Witherspoon. Oh and the cover: her own hands in handcuffs holding a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Nancy plead guilty to misappropriation of fiduciary property and theft of $1.6 million. (more…)