Amarillo "Pastor" allegedly selling land he doesn't own - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Amarillo "Pastor" allegedly selling land he doesn't own

AMARILLO, TX- Residents looking to purchase land on the southeast side of town should be on alert for an alleged con artist selling property he doesn't own.

He identifies himself as a man of God, but residents are concerned it's just a rouse to gain your trust and take your money.

A man we will call "Pedro" to protect his identity, says he found an ad for an inexpensive lot inside a local meat market.

"After we saw the ad at the market, we decided to make a contract," Pedro said. "The contract had information about the land and the price so everything seemed okay."

He says the man identified himself as pastor Jesse Vedavaurre.

Pedro claims he and his brother gave him more than $4,000 to buy a lot but after giving him the money, he says he only got a list of excuses when asking for the deed.

NewsChannel 10 discovered the property doesn't belong to him.

The real owner, Barney Karger, lives in California.

Karger says he met the pastor a few years ago and had used him at one point as a "middle" man.

He says the partnership quickly went south when Vedaurre began selling his property without his permission and keeping the money.

Karger provided us with records showing more than 18 people who had allegedly given Vedaurre money to buy land.

"He can't sell it (the land) unless I deed it to them," Karger told NewsChannel 10 in a phone interview. "I haven't made out any deeds. He is stealing the money."

When alleged victims went to ask for their money back, they found themselves cornered.

"At first we believed he would pay us back after all of those excuses that he made," Pedro said. "Now when we go back for the land or the money, he says that if we go to the police, we won't get the money back, nor the land, and that we would get kicked out of this country." 

We went to Vedaurre's address for comment.

NC 10: "Is Pastor Jesse home?"

Wife: "No, he's not."

NC 10: "Do you know when he'll be back?"

Wife: "No, I don't."

NC 10: "Where does he work?"

Wife: "That's private information."

NC 10: "We've received complaints from people who say they've given him money for land they never received. Do you know anything about that?"

Wife: "That's something that will have to be taken to court."

NC 10: "Can you tell us anything about the situation?"

Wife: "There is nothing I can say."

A few hours after meeting with Vedaurre's wife, Pastor Jesse came out to our NewsChannel 10 studio.

He says there is a whole lot more to the story than what we know, and that he would rather settle it in court.

After leaving our station, Vedaurre emailed us a statement denying any wrongdoing.

*Please note: The following email is copied word for word and may contain spelling and grammatical errors.

His email, sent on June 27 reads:

"Concerning on the issue of the north east Amarillo area with the properties, I pastor Jesse was authorize to clean, sale, and mow and other duties by Mr barney carger and have all evidences on hand. And i pastor jesse have not threatened any one."

Karger is expected to make a trip to Amarillo this month to meet with law enforcement.

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