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.

 

 


Tolliver Pleads Guilty In Federal Court In Home Invasion Case

A Chattanooga man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday in connection with a charge that arose out of a home invasion on Jan. 16. Danetrius Tolliver, 27, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He will be sentenced by Judge Sandy Mattice on Nov. 28. Police said Tolliver was charged after he kicked in the back door of a residence near Lake Chickamauga ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, DUSTIN LEE  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37402  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga POSSESSING A FIREARM WITH INTENT TO GO ARMED BURGLARY THEFT OF PROPERTY THEFT OF PROPERTY --- AGUSTIN, SARA CLEMENTINA  3003 4TH AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: ... (click for more)

Alexander Should Do Something About The Affordable Health Care Act Price Increase - And Response (3)

Re:  Alexander's remarks about Tennesseans not affording "Affordable Health Care Act" prices Mr. Alexander,  Your message stated, Tennesseans can't afford a 44 percent to 62 percent increase in the Affordable Care prices.  I simply ask, as Senate Health Committee chairman, why don't you do something about it?  Don't tell us something most know already.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abused By An EpiPen

It is a good guess that for about 30 years I have kept an EpiPen on the top of my refrigerator. I have never had to open the box, much less jab a dose of life-saving epinephrine into a person suffering from anaphylaxis. Whether it is a bee sting, peanut butter, shellfish or other allergies, I watched somebody come within inches of dying in my early 20s and swore I would have one ... (click for more)

Sale Creek Storms Past Central, 3-0, In Volleyball Action

Despite playing short-handed, Sale Creek’s once-beaten Lady Panthers made short work of Central, 3-0, Thursday night in high school volleyball action at Central High School. The Lady Panthers sprinted to their 11 th win in 12 matches this season by whipping Central 25-21, 25-13, 25-8 in the non-district matchup. “We played well today,” Sale Creek coach Debbie Hill said. ... (click for more)

Grace Wins In Celebration Of Coach Waters' Birthday

The Grace Academy volleyball team had several reasons to play well at Silverdale on Thursday night, not to mention that it was head coach Hillary Waters’ birthday. Facing the Lady Seahawks in a key District 5-A match, the Lady Golden Eagles did what they had to do as they won the match in four sets as they improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in 5-A. Set scores were 25-15, ... (click for more)