Prosecutors Say They Were Sent Confidential Information In Gott, Dobson Fraud Case

Monday, March 18, 2013

Two federal prosecutors said they were emailed confidential information between one of two Marion County men facing mortgage fraud charges and his attorney.

Prosecutor Perry Pipe said the information in one email by Paul Gott III, 40, "on its face at least to us appears to be incriminating."

Prosecutors Piper and John McCoon asked Federal Judge Curtis Collier how the information should be handled, and the judge on Monday said none of it should be used by prosecutors. But he declined to order the prosecutors off the case.

Gott, 40, said even if the information is shreded that it is "already in their heads."

Judge Collier said the trial of Gott and Joshua Dobson, 35, will proceed as planned on April 8. They were indicted by a federal grand jury in Chattanooga last year for a mortgage fraud that investigators said involved some $45 million in transactions. "Buyers" from several states were involved. The property is in Dade County, Ga., at Johnson's Crook. The development was known as The Preserve.

Gott's attorney, John McDougal, said the emails apparently got to the government because Gott has a number of others on his correspondence list. He said the government already had a lot of the same information from its investigation.

But prosecutor Piper acknowledged that the government did pick up some facts by reading the emails.

He said, looking back, he wishes he had not looked at the documents when his fellow prosecutor brought them to him and said, "Hey, did you see this?"

Prosecutor Piper said he wishes now he had said, "No, and don't show it to me."

He said he and prosecutor McCoon conferred with Justice Department professional responsibility officers in Greeneville, Tn., and in Washington, D.C., and quickly alerted the court to the development.   

The 12-count indictment also names the Southern Group, Southern Mountain Resorts, Southern Property Management Group and Southern Real Estate of Tennessee.

It says the defendants offered property for sale and told prospective buyers they would furnish the down payment to the buyer at closing. They said they would cover the mortgage payments for three years. And they said they would purchase an option to buy back the property at a profit to the "buyers" at the end of the three-year period.

The investigation was handled by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service.

Gott is a UTC finance graduate who worked 10 years as a lender officer.


Case Of Drug Ring Involving Child Sent To Grand Jury

Felony drug charges against four individuals who admitted to involving a child in their alleged crimes were bound over to a grand jury after a Tuesday hearing. The alleged incidents took place back in February.  According to police, narcotics detectives were watching when a green jeep pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex on East Brainerd Road. The ... (click for more)

Arrest Made After String Of Auto Burglaries Near Munro Road

A Chattanooga man was arrested and charged with a string of auto burglaries in the Munro Road area. Witnesses said they saw three men in a white Volvo drive up and attempt to break into a vehicle in a driveway on the street.  When police located the suspect car, they also found multiple stolen items, including a gun. They also found 21-year-old Steven Coburn. According ... (click for more)

Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)

After String Of Injuries, Ailments Vols' Maggitt Ready To Play

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Come Sunday ,  it will have been 659 days since Curt Maggitt played a snap in a college football game, but that's not what he's concerned about. "It's four days from now," Maggitt said Wednesday. "That's what's most important. It's going to be emotional for sure. It's been a real long time since I've been out there and ran through the `T' actually suited ... (click for more)

Fulghum, Walker Power Soddy-Daisy Past Cleveland

Soddy-Daisy’s Lady Trojans shook off an up-and-down performance in last weekend’s Early Bird tournament at Oak Ridge and throttled Cleveland, 3-0, in a District 5-AAA volleyball match Tuesday at Soddy-Daisy High School. The Lady Trojans (8-4, 2-1) swept the match with set scores of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-15. Abby Walker and Karigan Fulghum combined for 30 digs and 18 kills to ... (click for more)