A Santa Clarita man who co-owns a We Buy Ugly Houses franchise is facing felony charges after an investigation found he lied to homeowners to push them to sell their homes, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
Cory Evans, 41, was charged with two felony counts each of attempted grand theft by false pretenses and attempted financial elder abuse, the DA’s office said.
The franchise, HomeVestors, is advertised as a company that offers to quickly pay cash to buy homes in as-is condition and for “typical closing costs.”
Evans is accused of providing false information to two Camarillo homeowners in their 70s “to induce them to sign contracts for HomeVestors to purchase their homes,” the DA’s office said.
Both homeowners later tried to cancel their contracts, and the company threatened civil litigation, authorities said.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Tony Wold advised community members to avoid signing contracts without properly vetting them.
“Particularly with the elderly, never sign any contract ‘on the spot,'” Wold said. “Always vet important matters with friends and family. Take your time and don’t allow yourself to be rushed to make a decision. If you have adult children, let them help you, and keep them informed.”
The DA’s office said it could not provide information on the nature of the false information Evans is accused of giving the victims, but Wold said that the information wasn’t about the purchase price offered and that both victims are still in their homes.
Evans’ arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 4 at the Ventura County Superior Court.