TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Trinity woman spent the weekend in jail after allegedly forging a deed and selling another person's land over in Trinity County. Fifty-five-year-old Freida Steele faces a tampering with government records charge.
In the midst of the Trinity Sheriff's Office preparing for a huge property sale tomorrow, Steele of Trinity decided to take selling land and making profits into her own hands.
A California woman owns land in the Port Adventure Subdivision, but she hadn't been in a while to visit.
"She lived out of state. She just bought it as a vacation place she was fixing it up," said Tommy Park, the Trinity Sheriff's Department Investigator.
She wrote a letter to Trinity County authorities after she learned that her property might have been sold by someone else.
Steele allegedly created a fraudulent warranty deed and sold the property to herself. "She sold some property that didn't belong to her," said Park.
"Ownership can have a break in the chain of title," said Gary Gallant, the Trinity County Chief Appraiser.
"She said she thought that her bosses company owned it," said Park.
Steele works for a realty business, making it simple for her to create the false forms. According to Trinity County Sheriff's Department, she had even began moving items into the victim's home.
"You would think everyone would go in good faith and not sell someone else's property they don't own," said Park.
Steele posted a five thousand dollar bond the same day she was arrested, and as for those who own or are looking to buy property in the future, Gallant advises you to, "Go slowly, check out all the papers, read all the documents make sure everything is good."