Here’s another example of the importance of loyalty and reputation in the Houston residential real-estate biz. The Houston Press‘s Richard Connelly catches up with the ex-partner of formerly ubiquitous Houston real estate agent Mike Spear, whose ubiquity has been a bit challenged since he began serving a two-year sentence in federal prison for income-tax evasion earlier this year.
. . . even though Spear himself might be behind bars, his spirit lives on: If you’re looking to buy or sell a house here these days, you might be forgiven for thinking you’re doing business with the well-known realtor.
Before the two joined Prudential Gary Greene in 2005, Spear and Realtor Ray Allison ran Montrose mainstay AllisonSpear Realtors. Allison explains to Connelly:
There’s a group of professionals within Prudential Gary Greene that are organized as the Mike Spear Team, but it is not the official name of this company.
Mr. Spear did work with this firm. He is no longer with this firm. The Mike Spear Team does continue. It is appropriate for it to continue . . .
There’s more: Spear’s admissions from the July 2007 plea agreement, featuring shell corporations and a Mercedes Benz.
From a Department of Justice press release:
According to the plea agreement filed of record in this case, Spear, with the help of a co-conspirator, formed two corporations to attempt to conceal his income and to put his income and assets out of reach of the IRS. Neither corporation issued Spear a form W-2 or 1099 for the income Spear withdrew from the corporations. Spear also wrote letters, according to the record of the case, to two real estate companies with whom he had worked attempting to convince them that he had not earned the income reported on the any forms 1099 issued by the real estate companies. Instead of paying his taxes, Spear admitted via the plea agreement, that he had paid off a friend’s $40,000 loan in December 2001 for a Mercedes Benz.
- He’s in prison but his name lives on [Houston Press]
- Houston Realtor Sentenced to Prison and Ordered To Pay Thousands in Restitution to IRS [Southern District US Attorney’s Office]
- The Mike Spear Team