Feds Dismiss Criminal Charges Against Rarity Developer Mike Ross

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Federal authorities have dismissed an indictment against Mike Ross, the developer of a floundering Rarity Club project at Nickajack Lake in Marion County.

The Maryville developer was charged last November with mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

However, in a document filed today, prosecutor John MacCoon said, "The United States hereby moves the Court pursuant to Rule 48(a) Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to dismiss the above-captioned case without prejudice.

"As grounds therefor the United States would advise the Court that new exculpatory evidence has been developed and provided by the defense that undermines the accuracy of the current indictment in this case.

"Accordingly, the United States moves pursuant to Rule 48(a) to dismiss the indictment without prejudice. Defense counsel has indicated agreement with this motion."

The developer was represented by the Chattanooga law firm of Davis and Hoss.

Attorney Lee Davis said, "We appreciate the willingness of the U.S. Attorney's office to go through what are complicated financial transactions, and their willingness to consider this case from all sides before proceeding with what would have been an extremely long, difficult and expensive trial.

"The real estate downturn of 2008 was a main factor, and many of the problems that are complained about in the initial indictment are the result of those difficult economic times, and not any criminal intent of Mr. Ross."

The government had asked that the developer forfeit $1,850,000, saying that represents "the amount of the defendant's violation" of federal law.

It was charged that he accepted money from buyers of lots at the development with promises that a clubhouse and other amenities would be provided and that the money would be held in a separate account.

Instead, the indictment says, the money was used to try to prop up other Ross developments.

An order was put down to handle the case in Chattanooga.

The indictment said sales in the development occurred from December 2006 to December 2009.

Prices paid for the lots ranged from $25,000 to $75,000.

It says in a letter of March 23, 2009, owners of Rarity Club lots were assured that their money was still segregated and available.



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER STEPHEN  8729 MILLARD LEE LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37416  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County FAILURE TO APPEAR --- ADAMS, KAREN ANNETTE  1707 FOUT STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 56 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County PASSING ... (click for more)

City Attorney Proposes New Policy To Dispose Of City Records

City Attorney Wade Hinton proposed a new policy for the retention and disposition of city records at Tuesday afternoon’s City Council meeting.   “Unfortunately we have had a culture of ‘Keep Everything,’” Attorney Wade stated, referring to the city documents that have been “floating” around since the 1980s. “The unfortunate thing is that we keep these documents all over…and ... (click for more)

A Thankful List

David Jeremiah said it best, that we have a tendency to concentrate on the things we don’t have rather than what God has already blessed us with.  Perhaps, he said, it is because there is not enough parchment available in this world to record all God’s bountiful blessings should we try to list them. This Thanksgiving let us gather our family close to us, whisper a prayer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote DesJarlais Out!

There are two good bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives right now that are directly aimed at the sadistic villains who derive some sick pleasure out of torturing helpless Tennessee Walking Horses. They call it “soring,” where caustic materials are lathered into a horse’s forelegs and then wrapped in plastic so they’ll cook. Sometimes they use nails or screws ... (click for more)

Red Bank Girls Stay Unbeaten With 53-51 Win Over Soddy Daisy

The Red Bank Lionettes pulled out a 53-51 victory over the Soddy Daisy Lady Trojans on Tuesday night at Red Bank's Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium, but the win was more signicant for Red Bank coach Bailey McGinnis than probably any she'll celebrate the rest of the season. You see, her older brother Drew Lyness is the Soddy Daisy coach and he had bragging rights after winning both ... (click for more)

Heights Powered By Sharp-Shooting Canadians

The three Canadian prep basketball stars that transferred to Hamilton Heights prior to the 2015-16 season put on a strong shooting performance Tuesday afternoon in the Hawks’ 76-54 victory over Central Park in a game played at Birmingham Southern. Therren Szmidt, Shai Alexander and Nickeil Walker combined for 52 points and 19-of-35 shooting, including 9-of-17 from 3-point ... (click for more)