Warrant issued for alleged con-artist after Call 4 Action
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 03:29:18 GMT —
Our Action 4 News investigation has captured the attention of a state agency.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice issued an arrest warrant for the alleged con-artist Jose Luis Longoria.
The warrant comes less than 24 hours after Action 4 News did a story revealing a scam promising jobs in the oil field.
Emails, calls and comments on social media poured in after the Call 4 Action aired Tuesday.
Julio Mendoza was one of those callers.
He said the promise of a $20 an hour job cause him to hand over $540 cash and quit his job.
"I was doing it for my children," he said. "I was doing it for my family, to give them a better life than I ever had."
He met Longoria back in November.
Text messages showed Longoria, who presented himself as a recruiter, asking Mendoza to find others who also wanted jobs.
In all, Mendoza helped recruit more than 20 of his friends and family members.
"We all quit our jobs because he promised us we were taking off the following day," Mendoza said.
The high paying jobs never came through.
After watching our 4 investigation, he came forward admitting he and his friends and family gave Longoria their money, social security numbers and copies of their driver's license.
"A lot of people need work," he said. "We did it because we needed to work. We heard these jobs paid a lot so that's why we wanted to go out there."
Ruben Ramon was featured in our original story.
Ramon told Action 4 that he too handed over copies of his driver's license and hundreds of dollars in cash to Longoria.
"It was for equipment like boots, uniforms, to pay for our drug test and for our safety course," he said.
Longoria has allegedly promised to give all of his "recruits" their money back.
But empty promises were never fulfilled.
Suspicious, both Ramon and Mendoza found a 5 year-old article on valleycentral.com that revealed Longoria had a track record.
After research, we learned the known con-artist has been convicted seven times on theft charges, and is currently on parole.
"If they would have told me this guy wanted X amount of dollars to help them with application, I would have said don't pay," Dolores Salinas, president of the Better Business Bureau of South Texas, said.
Salinas said this "recruiter" raises red flags from the get-go.
"If you don't have the position yet you shouldn't be handing over that type of personal information to anyone you don TMt know," she said.
All of Longoria's alleged victims want their money back, but more importantly they want their identity off the black market.