May 26, 2022

A tip from a Watchdog reader has helped Iowa Legal Aid recover more than $180,000 for a couple that a court found had been cheated out of their home by a Des Moines real-estate flipper.

The tipster told Watchdog that Danial Howe, who said he left the country after Muniba and Hasan Toric sued him in June 2020, was marketing himself online as a cryptocurrency expert.

After Watchdog inquired with Iowa Legal Aid, which had represented the Torics in court, the nonprofit agency was able to confirm the tip. It subpoenaed Howe’s bank accounts and financial records and learned he was making big money with cryptocurrency investments.

Using a provision of Iowa law that dated from long before the Bitcoin era, it was able to force Howe this month to cash in his cryptocurrency to pay back the Torics.

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