Dallas County

Alleged victims of real estate fraud cheer criminal theft indictment of Irving businesswoman after years of delay

Complaints in the case were filed in 2018.

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People who claim an Irving real estate executive cheated them are thrilled to hear she’s due in criminal court next week. Pauline Coronado, 72, was arrested last year after dozens of people filed complaints about her five years ago. NBC 5’s Ken Kalthoff first reported on the case and followed up on why action took so long.

People who claim they were cheated by an Irving real estate executive said they were thrilled Wednesday to hear she is due in criminal court next week.

Pauline Coronado, 72, was arrested last year after dozens of people filed complaints about her five years ago.

An expert said a list of factors contribute to the long delay.

It was July 2018 when dozens of people who claim they were victims of Pauline Coronado filed complaints at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

That same day, two people told NBC 5 they were each told by Coronado that they had been renting to own the same Mesquite house, only to wind up with no deed after spending thousands of dollars.

Patricia Guzman was living at that house at the time.

“I need a house. I just want to purchase a house, because in my whole life, it was my first house, that I was supposed to be buying,” Guzman said.

Naomi Perez said she had also tried to buy the same house before hiring an inspector.

“He came and he told me the permit is wrong, the electricity, the foundation, there's a lot of things wrong with this house,” Perez said.

Both tenants said they thought Coronado was the seller but found that a third party was the homeowner.

Most of the hopeful buyers were Spanish-speaking tenants who said Coronado made false promises about the English language contracts she had them sign.

Records show 18 couples or individuals are named as victims in the indictment that was referred by a grand jury in 2023.

Uber Berrum and his wife Luisa Crus are one of the couples.

Berrum told Telemundo 39 Wednesday that he is very happy action is finally being taken on the case.

Nick Hockman is a property owner who testified to the grand jury about the accusations facing Coronado.

Hockman said he also lost money to her.

“She scammed both the homeowners and the tenants,” Hockman said. “She’s the common denominator and it’s very sad. My company is ‘Everybody Wins.’ We’re a management company and I try to make a win-win every time.”

Wednesday Hockman said he is also pleased to learn the case is moving forward.

Attorney Dennis Croman said he represents Coronado.

He declined an on-camera interview but by phone confirmed the indictment.

Croman said Coronado has committed no crimes and received no money from the leases.

“Her involvement is very minimal,” Croman said.

Criminal Defense Attorney Heath Harris, who is not involved in the Coronado case, is a former Chief Assistant Dallas County District Attorney. In that role, he oversaw large investigations like this with many alleged victims.

“You want to make sure everything is accurate as far as the business records and the evidence trail so that’s why it takes that long,” Harris said.

The COVID-19 pandemic, a change in leadership at the District Attorney’s Office and a change in lead prosecutors for this investigation also contributed to delay.

A Jan. 10 court appearance is set for Pauline Coronado.

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