AUSTIN, TX - The Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board (TALCB) is pleased to announce a significant victory for consumers in Texas. Former real estate appraiser, Daniel O’Leary, was indicted in El Paso County District Court on felony charges stemming from fraudulent appraisals he is accused of having completed and submitted to lenders as part of mortgage finance transactions guaranteed by the federal government. This criminal prosecution protects Texas consumers from O'Leary's illegal and deceptive appraisal activities.
O'Leary is a former certified residential real estate appraiser. The indictment alleges that during a period of over two years, in 164 separate mortgage finance transactions, he submitted appraisals he knew contained false statements about who actually inspected the properties and completed the appraisals. Lending institutions paid O'Leary thinking they had received a legitimate appraisal report completed by him when they had not. When evidence of his illegal activity came to TALCB’s attention, the agency obtained an emergency, temporary suspension of his license, and then revoked his license as an appraiser in 2018.
TALCB was able to work cooperatively with Fannie Mae and the Offices of Inspector General for both the Federal Housing Finance Administration and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which conducted a criminal investigation leading to O’Leary’s August indictment. TALCB appreciates the invaluable assistance of these partnering agencies and the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office to stop O’Leary’s illegal activities and is pleased with the collaborative efforts highlighting inter-agency and state and federal cooperation. These coordinated efforts stopped O’Leary’s fraud on Texas property owners, lending institutions, and the federal agencies guaranteeing the mortgage loans on properties O’Leary was paid to appraise.
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 appraisers engaging in deceptive practices should contact the TALCB and file a complaint.