Federal fugitive found near Lockhart
By LPR Staff
Within a day of announcing a statewide manhunt for a fugitive from Federal justice, United States Marshals announced their subject had been located and captured in a residence just west of Lockhart on Tuesday evening.
Cornelius Craig Robinson, 48, whose most recent address reflects he lives in Pflugerville, was arrested
without incident on Tuesday evening, according to Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law and Deputy U.S. Marshal Hector Gomez. Earlier in the day, Robinson had been tracked to the area and was confirmed present at the residence when members of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Hays County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal Service executed a warrant for his arrest at the residence on State Park Road.
Robinson had been sought by the Marshal Service through the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force after failing to appear for a sentencing hearing scheduled before United States District Judge Sam Sparks last week.
Robinson, along with four co-conspirators, was convicted in March of several finance-related charges in multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme. The Austin jury concluded Robinson had been the organizer and leader of the fraud scheme, which was operated in both the Austin and San Antonio real estate markets.
According to the Austin-American Statesman, Robinson’s scheme in which the defendants bought properties and then sold them at artificially-inflated prices to “buyers” in on the scheme. The buyers then defaulted on the loans, costing banks millions of dollars – and earning Robinson and his partners millions.
In addition to the fraud conviction, Robinson has convictions for numerous assaults, including assault with a deadly weapon, and theft, according to information released by Gomez on Monday.
“It seems as though [fugitives] think they can lay low in little towns like these around Austin and just blend in,” Gomez said after the arrest. “But the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, and cooperative efforts like it that include local law enforcement working with federal officers, are proving that isn’t the case.”
Gomez declined to say how the Marshal Service investigation led the search to the Caldwell County residence, but did indicate the matter was still being investigated.
“We are certainly looking into how he got there and who was helping him,” he said. “We weren’t aware of any immediate connection, or any family members in the area that would have made us look out in Lockhart before looking somewhere else.”
Law, however, suggested a combination of factors led to Robinson’s being discovered and the subsequent arrest.
“We found out that he was out here, and then we provided assistance and support to the Marshal Service in the arrest,” Law said. This is something that we do in a cooperative effort, through the Task Force.”
The owner of the property where he was arrested had no immediate connection to Robinson. In fact, Law said, the recently-remodeled home was likely a rental property. The owners may not have had any prior knowledge Robinson was at the property.
While his co-conspirators have been sentenced, some to several years in prison, Robinson still awaits a court date for sentencing, which will be set by Sparks in the future. Gomez suggested he may face up to “decades” in prison.