Woman accused of running real estate schemes violates probation, authorities say

Cynthia Ortiz, 42, fails to pay court costs, complete community service

SAN ANTONIO – A 42-year-old woman who was arrested last year in connection with real estate schemes was arrested Thursday for a probation violation.

According to court documents, Cynthia Ortiz violated several terms of her probation, including failing to pay court costs and complete community service. Ortiz was released from jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

Ortiz was arrested in January 2015 on a theft charge. An arrest warrant affidavit said she took more than $10,000 from a man in 2014 as a down payment on a home. The deal never went through, and Ortiz failed to return his money, the affidavit said.

After KSAT 12 News aired a report about Ortiz's arrest, numerous people called KSAT and San Antonio police to make similar claims. Among them were two women who appeared in a follow-up report claiming to have lost more than $20,000 to Ortiz.

Although Ortiz at one time was a licensed Realtor, state records show that her license was revoked in April 2015.

Mariela Obregon said she became one of Ortiz's latest victims earlier this year. Obregon filed a police report this month, claiming that Ortiz stole nearly $6,000 from her in a similar real estate deal. Ortiz was arrested and released on bond.

"She told me she had a list of foreclosed homes coming in (and) she needed a down payment," Obregon said. 

Soon after giving Ortiz the money, Obregon said she began to have doubts about the deal. Obregon said she found out that one of the homes Ortiz was promising to sell her was occupied by people who had no intention of putting it on the market.

"After I asked for my money back, she kept coming up with excuses: 'Well, I don't have the money. I'll give it to you in two weeks,'" Obregon said. "So I was patient. I waited for two weeks, and (got) nothing.

"I'm seeing the money as already lost but I would like for her to at least get locked up over it."

Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas "Nico" LaHood said the case is one of several involving Ortiz that his office is currently reviewing. 

The only case resolved so far is the one that led to Ortiz's 2015 arrest. She was granted deferred adjudication, a legal agreement that basically amounts to probation.

"At the time of that very first case, we thought that was appropriate," LaHood said.  "Now these new allegations have come in, but they're not new allegations from after that incident. They're from before."

LaHood said that with the exception of Obregon's case, all the other cases involved thefts before Ortiz was granted deferred adjudication, so they could not be factored in at the time of her sentencing. He said his office still plans to prosecute those cases and is still investigating Obregon's case.

"There's no legal way to say this: It just sucks when someone cheats you out of your money. I get it," LaHood said.

He recommended that all the alleged victims stay in close contact with his office and Bexar County Victim Assistance.

KSAT 12 News made numerous attempts to reach Ortiz and her attorney for comment. As of noon Friday, there had been no response from either of them.

About the Author:

Katrina Webber was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas.