A Quiet Real Estate Scam on the Links

An investor in a possibly nonexistent real-estate venture headed by his friend Billy Frank Davis tells Chronicle reporter Mike Tolson that Davis didn’t let on to his friends that other friends had also invested with him: “He didn’t want word of mouth. Bill’s image was always the most important thing to him. He always portrayed himself as a very successful and wealthy person. Everybody thought Bill had money.” On Monday, the disbarred attorney pled guilty to a single count of wire fraud in connection with a Ponzi scheme that bilked his friends and golfing buddies at the Champions Golf Club, the River Oaks Country Club, and the Braeburn Country Club out of $7.8 million. According to Tolson’s report, however, the losses may have been much higher than that.


What were Davis’s real-estate investments? An FBI release says he had “some legitimate business activity” over the last decade, but that “a substantial portion” of the money he collected from would-be investors was simply used to pay off old debts and the costs of maintaining his “personal lifestyle.” “He got overextended and used money from new investors to pay old investors,” his attorney tells Tolson. “He confessed what he did to investors before there was any investigation and is incredibly remorseful for what he did.”

Photo: Champions Golf Club

4 Comment

  • If people knew that he was really a “Billy Frank Davis” instead of the gentrified “Bill F. Davis”, they would have never given him the time of day.

  • If I only had a nickel for evey time I heard the same story. This type of stuff circulates around the golf courses and high society events every day. It’s the non-Internet way of “Spear Fishing”. I have a mathematics background and can spot a scam from the first pitch when they start talking returns and track record. People to this day are dumb enough to believe in some “private, invitation only, high yield investments”.

  • Ponzi…..much like Social Security.

  • oh, he’s “incredibly remorseful” we should just let him loose and keep all that money then (whats left of it).