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AUSTIN, TX - The Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board (TALCB) is pleased to announce an important win for consumers in Texas. Former real estate appraiser trainee, James P. Edwards, has been indicted in Tarrant County District Court on 16 different felony counts. This criminal prosecution protects Texas consumers from Edwards’ illegal and deceptive appraisal activities.

Prior to 2009, Edwards held an appraiser trainee authorization, but never obtained a full license allowing him to practice independently. Despite holding no license whatsoever since 2009, Edwards engaged in unlicensed commercial appraisal activity in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex area. He perpetrated this illegal activity by using the license numbers and applying the signatures of other Texas appraisers without their knowledge while submitting commercial appraisals in his name to financial institution clients, who paid him thinking they had received a legitimate appraisal report. When evidence of his illegal activity came to TALCB’s attention, the agency imposed a $28,000 administrative penalty and with the assistance of the Texas Attorney General’s office, also obtained a court judgment permanently prohibiting Edwards from engaging in real estate appraisal activities.

TALCB appreciates the invaluable assistance of the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office and the Texas Attorney General’s Office to stop Edwards’ illegal activities and is pleased with the collaborative efforts highlighting inter-agency cooperation and ending Edwards’ fraud on Texas property owners, appraisers, banks, and investors.

Appraisers play a vital role in real estate transactions. TALCB’s consumer protection responsibilities include ensuring the public maintains confidence in the legitimacy of real estate appraisal services. Consumers who become aware of unlicensed individuals or appraisers engaging in deceptive practices should contact the TALCB and file a complaint.