241: Richard Velasquez – Texcot, Disney Theme Park Fraud Case

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.

Special Agent

Richard Velasquez

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

Click here to listen to more FBI Retired Case File Review episodes featuring frauds and scams.

Disney Theme Park Fraud campaign image
The fake advertising campaign for Frontier Disney, Thomas Lucas Jr. gave to investors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Theme Park fraud preliminary concept
The fake preliminary concept plan for Frontier Disney, Thomas Lucas Jr. gave to investors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Lucas Jr., the subject of the Disney theme park fraud case
Image of Thomas Lucas Jr., the subject of the Disney theme park fraud case, taken while he was on a trip to London paid for with investor’s funds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Velasquez recounts his Disney theme park fraud case. You can purchase the true crime book here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 200 episodes available for free subscription on all popular podcast apps.

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