Dobson, Gott Found Guilty On 7 Of 12 Land Fraud Counts; Face Sentencing Aug. 8

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Federal Court jury, after deliberating a day and a half, late Tuesday morning found Josh Dobson and Paul Gott guilty on seven of 12 counts involving an alleged land fraud in Dade County, Ga.

They face sentencing by Judge Curtis Collier on Aug. 8 at 2 p.m. They remain free on bond until the sentencing.

Dobson and Gott were found guilty on seven identical counts and not guilty on five other identical counts.

They were ruled guilty on the most serious charge - that they were involved in a land fraud conspiracy.

The pair were found guilty of counts involving deals in which "gift letters" were used. They were found not guilty on charges in which they claimed that they were providing money to buyers as part of "buy-back option" arrangements.

A number of buyers testified that they were told they could get valuable lots at The Preserve at Johnson's Crook at Rising Fawn, Ga., without making a down payment and without making mortgage payments.

The buyers said the transactions went through as promised - with money coming from the Southern Group for the down payment. They said the mortgage payments continued for just over a year, then they stopped and the banks started calling.

Several said they had to file bankruptcy.

Lot sales to the "buyers" were at prices as high as $250,000. One person who wound up with two lots said he cannot sell them now for $4,000.

Both Dobson and Gott took the witness stand in their own defense, denying they were involved in any fraud. They said the payments to lot buyers stopped because the economy went sour.

They were found guilty of count 1 - conspiracy, counts 5, 6, 7 and 8 and 11 and 12.

Count 5 involves Gott wiring $22,000 to a woman in Florida who posed as the "cousin" of two different buyers. Count 6 involves Gott wiring $40,130 to the same woman on March 1, 2010. Count 7 involves an email from Gott to a Head Start director in California who had good credit and agreed to be a "buyer" on Jan. 26, 2010. Count 8 involves Gott wiring $22,000 to a Virginia relative of the California woman on Jan. 26, 2010.

Counts 11 and 12 were for money laundering. Count 11 involves a deposit to Southern Group for $166,487 on Feb. 23, 2010, and Count 12 involves a deposit to Southern Mountain Resorts for $67,000 on April 29, 2010.

Prosecutors were John MacCoon and Perry Piper.

The investigation was by the FBI and IRS agents.

The jury verdicts were taken by Federal Magistrate Court Judge Suzanne Lee in the absence of Judge Collier, who presided at the lengthy trial.


Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

First Protected Bicycle Lanes In Chattanooga To Be On Broad Street

Construction of the first protected bicycles lanes in Chattanooga will begin in Spring 2015 according to the Chattanooga Department of Transportation. The lanes will be downtown, going from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Aquarium Way on approximately .6 miles of Broad Street.   The street's current six through lanes will be reduced to four to make room for the bike ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pete Carroll’s Philosophy

Pete Carroll, the head football coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a deep belief that he can change people by simply listening to them and then making suggestions on how they can get what they really want. If the people Carroll who can influence win, Carroll wins, and remember his team won last year’s Super Bowl with his methods.   When asked for example, here is what ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)