Cedar Hill pastor arrested
The Ellis County Press
CEDAR HILL – The pastor at the center of a mortgage fraud investigation in Midlothian was arrested July 28 for allegedly renting out homes he didn’t own in southwestern Dallas County.
Jackie T. Lewis, the church pastor former deputy constable Mike Jones pinpointed as the "kingpin" behind a mortgage fraud scheme involving dozens of homes in the expensive Honeysuckle Estates subdivision outside of Midlothian’s city limits, allegedly collected payments from residents on houses police said he broke into.
The Ellis County Press first reported about the investigation and resignations two weeks ago.
Jones and reserve constable Ken Singleton both resigned several weeks ago from the Precinct 4 constable’s office of Steve McKinney after being told to stop their investigation.
Jones said McKinney, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Ellis County sheriff in March, told him to stop the probe.
McKinney said the resignations had nothing to do with the mortgage fraud investigation.
Police in Lancaster also arrested Morris Moseley, a former mayoral candidate in the city north of Red Oak and Ferris, for alleged ties to Lewis’ operation, according to authorities when contacted Monday evening.
In the Midlothian inquiry, which resulted in Jones turning over information to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office and the Texas Rangers, dozens of homes were bought in Honeysuckle Estates using "straw buyers," many of which, Jones said, carried inflated prices of up to 1,000 and 2,000 percent.
Jones, who takes over as the Precinct 4 constable in January after defeating an opponent in the March 4 Republican primary, said his investigation was also targeting the appraisers involved, as well as numerous lenders and financial institutions.
Lewis’ wife was contacted last week in an attempt to obtain her husband’s comments, but she would not disclose which church he led. She did say her husband would issue a comment later after the facts of the allegations were made public.
Lewis was arrested after a Dallas County grand jury indicted him, said Jones, who is now working at the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.
"I was part of the technical side of the deal, initially meeting with the outstanding investigators of Cedar Hill, and then explaining Lewis’ involvement in Ellis County and how his scam worked," Jones said. "Cedar Hill PD then opened an investigation on Lewis within the Lake Ridge addition. I developed a source close to Lewis and this led to a joint search warrant in Lake Ridge, which turned up several loan documents.
"Don’t get me wrong here, Cedar Hill PD and the Dallas [DA’s office] are awesome," Jones said. "They went right for the juggler and they have a good case."
Future indictments are likely, according to authorities, pertaining to the lending institutions and mortgage brokers and appraisers involved in the scams.