A local real estate agent arrested Thursday on felony charges and accused of deceiving a disabled man into selling mineral rights is also facing a civil lawsuit from the man’s family, claiming the agent illegally obtained more than $1 million in assets from the man in the past year, court documents state.
Waco police arrested RE/MAX Centex agent Jody Glenn Scoggins, 31, of Robinson, on a second-degree felony charge of securing the execution of a document by deception and a third-degree felony charge of exploitation of an disabled person. Police say a David Menefee, 66, a disabled man who suffers from dementia and blindness, was coerced into signing mineral rights, valued between $85,900 and $143,280, to Scoggins for $10 in September 2016.
Scoggins was released from McLennan County Jail on Friday afternoon after posting a $200,000 bond.
A message left for Phil Frederick, Scoggins’ criminal defense attorney, was not immediately returned Friday afternoon. It is unclear who is representing Scoggins in the civil suit.
In addition to the criminal charges, Waco attorney Ross Russell filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of the family of David and Brenda Menefee in Waco’s 414th State District Court. Russell said more than $1 million in property, mineral rights and cash were taken from David Menefee without his full understanding because of his health conditions.
The lawsuit alleges Scoggins committed a civil conspiracy, misappropriated and stole the Menefee family’s property, used a fraudulent signature to deed over assets, and fraudulently obtained power of attorney to gain access to Menefee’s financial information.
“The petition speaks for itself, and my clients stand behind all the allegations in the petition,” Russell said.
The lawsuit names Scoggins; his wife, Kim Scoggins; his mother, Debbie Scoggins; Scoggins Real Estate Team LLC; Scoggins Enterprises LLC; Hessco Roofing & Remodeling LLC; 1st Choice Fencing Inc.; and Pennybags LLC as defendants. Scoggins is a part owner of all the businesses listed as defendants, except Scoggins Real Estate Team, according to the suit.
The Menefees owned property in Moody when David Menefee’s health forced him into a Waco nursing home, the lawsuit states. During David Menfee’s stay at the nursing home, Scoggins began making routine visits and blocked Brenda Menefee’s cellphone from her husband’s phone, the lawsuit alleges.
Scoggins rerouted David Menefee’s mail to his business, opening all of the mail and withholding information from the couple, the lawsuit states.
“Upon discovering the significant wealth held by David Menefee, Jody Scoggins began his fraudulent scheme to misappropriate David and Brenda’s property,” the suit alleges. “Jody Scoggins forced David Menefee to sign a fraudulent power of attorney and then attempted to use that power of attorney to embezzle funds and property from David Menefee.”
The lawsuit states mortgage payments were not being made on the Menefee’s Moody property because Scoggins was “withholding all of the notices from the mortgage company.” He later used the embezzled money to buy the couple’s property and evict Brenda Menefee, according to the lawsuit.
Russell is requesting a jury trial in the case.