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Houston Man Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud, Spending $571K Meant For Development On Mortgage, Vacations


A Houston man pleaded guilty to wire fraud connected to a real estate development scam, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas.


Walter Salek, 47, took more than $1M from an investor for developing real estate in the Houston area, but diverted at least $571K to use on his mortgage payments and luxury vacations, a news release states. Salek admitted to fraud that started in 2019, according to the release issued Friday.

The investor was under the impression that Salek would develop real estate that would then be leased or sold, according to the release. The investor sent Salek money through interstate wire communications, contributing to the federal wire fraud charge. 

One venture pertained to a property on Old Spanish Trail in Houston, according to court documents. Salek emailed a joint venture agreement to an investor on June 24, 2019, the documents state. 

The investor wired Walter E. Salek Investments LLC $350K on July 3, 2019, and Salek wired $200K of that to his personal bank account the same day, according to documents. Over the next three weeks, Salek wired another $55K of the investor’s money into his bank account, according to the documents. 

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake will sentence Salek on July 11. He remains free on bond until then, but is facing up to 20 years in prison and a fine as high as $250K. 

Salek was a managing director at EYF Capital, a U.S.-focused real estate and private equity firm headquartered in Houston, according to its website and Salek’s LinkedIn

EYF describes itself as espousing “a conservative yet opportunistic approach to capital investment,” specializing in retail and service businesses, shopping centers, portfolio acquisitions and turnkey build-to-suit services. Salek's bio on the site appears to have been taken down.