Alleged Real Estate Fraud Victims Look for Help

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HAZLETON -- Dozens of people in Hazleton have something in common. They say they were scammed by real estate agent Ignacio Beato.

"I've been crying so much because I have my own room and I have friends here and I don't want to leave," said Gris Perelta of Hazleton.

Perelta says her parents thought they bought a home from Beato last year. They recently learned the paperwork was fake and now they're being kicked out.

"Nope. Nobody is helping us. We don't hear from nobody," said Perelta and her parents.

Felix Cabrera is in the same boat. He found out he doesn't own the home he thought he bought from Beato and is being evicted in a few weeks.

"I'm alone. The justice is not helping me."

Erika Suarez was also buying a house from Beato. She says Beato forged her checks and cashed them. Now she's out about $27,000.

"How can I trust anybody right now to be honest with you? There's no back-up for this? How do I know the next person won't come around and do this?"

Many of the victims speak Spanish and they feel like there is no one who they can talk to who would understand them.

They also ask, who can they trust when they've already been scammed by a person who claimed to be one of their one?

Others feel like no one wants to get involved because prior to the investigation Beato was a leader in the community.

ignacio beato

Vilma Budde of Hazleton is not a victim but says she wants to help be a translator for the people who lost money. She thinks what Beato allegedly did to these people is disgusting.

"Shame on him for doing what he did to his own people, the Hispanic community, when he called himself a leader of the community and a Christian."

State police also spoke about the case for the first time on Thursday. Troopers say they don't know where Beato is and he has not been charged with a crime just yet.

State police also say many of the alleged victims have not filed an official complaint at the barracks.

Investigators say they will provide Spanish-speaking speaking victims with a translator if they file a report.


  • keith hinkel

    Feds nor state care at all its only a $$$ crime–see Madoff, Corzorzine, Adelphia, many others. How can the Feds or state balk when they do it always.?? Feds stated in news–“Its only $$”!

  • Bored

    Oh, we’re surprised by this? Hazleton is a garbage dump, full of garbage people, and garbage ethics. It’s great to see it being covered by a seven year old reporter… Step your game up WNEP, you’re awful.

  • ME2

    Yeah, I know people who don’t have that kind of money on hand. Then again, people should know that when they pay cash for a house, there are no safeguards and you buy the house, “as is,” which usually means you’re buying a lot of problems.

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