From land grabs to foreclosures: Arizona’s rich history of land fraud

By Catherine Reagor | Arizona Republic

Land fraud in Arizona started before it was even a state.

A confederate soldier from Missouri tried to claim 12 million acres that would have spanned from Phoenix to Silver City, New Mexico, in the 1880s. 

And he nearly pulled it off.

“Arizona’s land fraud history goes back farther than many people might think,” said Greg Vogel, land expert and CEO of Scottsdale-based Land Advisors Organization. “What some have tried to pull off in our state is surprising and even fascinating.”

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