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.

 

 



Travis Caslin, 42, Shot While Walking Along South Willow Street

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot on Friday night while walking along South Willow Street.   The victim was identified as Travis Caslin, 42.   At 7:37 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers were called to a local hospital after a person showed up with a gunshot wound.   Police were informed that the victim's condition was non-life threatening. ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AILEY, SLATON R  1130 DARTMOUTH ST CHATTANOOGA, 37405  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE --- ANDERSON, EDWARD ANTONIO  2507 CURTIS ST CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Bill Pennington, a sports writer for the New York Times, was lamenting the “huddle” is slowly disappearing in football due to the faster pace of the game and, during his search for more information, he called former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. Bill wrote that Joe couldn’t stop laughing about the funny things that would happen between plays. Joe told this story: ... (click for more)

Mocs Fall 20-14 To Visiting Citadel

The Chattanooga Mocs fell just short in a 20-14 heart-breaker against The Citadel. It was a hard-fought game that went the full 60 minutes.   The Mocs defense stiffened and gave their offensive teammates a shot late in the fourth quarter. The Citadel marched 41 yards, churning out 5-plus minutes of game clock. Tae Davis dropped Grant Drakeford for a 3-yard loss at the Mocs ... (click for more)

Top-Ranked Alabama Smashes Tennessee 45-7

Tennessee, a 34-point underdog in one of college football’s better long-running series, stayed close for one quarter before top-ranked Alabama switched to another gear and pummeled the struggling Vols, 45-7, Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The rock-ribbed Crimson Tide defense locked down Tennessee’s ground game, hounded quarterback Jarrett Guarantano relentlessly ... (click for more)