Retired agent Richard Velasquez served in the FBI for nearly 26 years. Assigned to the Dallas Field Office his entire career, Rick spent his first 4 years in Dallas and the last 21 years in the Plano/Frisco Resident Agency, where he specialized in and managed an extensive caseload of complex financial crime investigations.
In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Rick reviews his Disney theme park fraud case against Thomas Lucas Jr., who concocted a story that the Disney Company would build a theme park called Frontier Disney DFW in North Texas. Lucas Jr. used this false information to solicit doctors, lawyers, professional athletes and others into investing in the land surrounding the alleged Disney site, assuring them that when Disney announced plans for the theme park, the new landowners would become instant millionaires. Investors lost over $60 million in the scheme. Rick is the author of Texcot: Dreams, Lies and Fraud, his account of the FBI investigation that finally brought Lucas Jr. to justice.
In addition to his fraud cases, Rick also worked violent crimes and was a member of the SWAT team for ten years and on the Crisis Management Team for two years, assisting in the coordination of command posts for high-profile cases and major sporting events. He also served as a New Agent Assessor for over 10 years and enjoyed the opportunity to make decisions on the future of the FBI. He received numerous awards and recognition from the FBI and civic groups, but his most cherished recognition was from all the kids who I spoke to at career days for over 25 years.
After retiring from the FBI, Rick formed Baird-Velasquez and Associates, Inc., a consulting and private investigation company specializing in complex financial investigative matters.
11/1990 – 2/2016
“The land that Disney was supposedly buying? How hard would it be to identify it and find out who the owner was? But instead they relied on the presentations.”—Retired Agent Rick Velasquez
The following are links to FBI website and news articles about the Disney theme park fraud case:
FBI.gov – Financial Fraud – 1/19/2016: The Disney Resort That Never Was
Dallas Morning News – 2/6/2015: Tale of Disney theme park for North Texas duped investors out of millions, prosecutors allege
Courthouse News – 9/2/2015: Texan Gets 17 Years|for Disney Park Scam