Pre-Sentence Report Recommends Sentence Of Up To 24 Years For Developer Of Preserve In Dade County

Friday, March 28, 2014

A pre-sentence report recommends a sentence of up to 24 years in federal prison for Josh Dobson, the former developer of The Preserve in Dade County, Ga., who was convicted of several fraud counts by a federal jury.

Prosecutors have revised the total loss figure suffered by investors, dropping the range for Dobson, but still leaving it at up to 19 years in prison.

Jerry Summers, the new attorney for Dobson, said the revised figure is still far too much time based on the offense. He has filed a number of motions and objections to the sentence.

Dobson and Paul Gott are set to be sentenced by Judge Curtis Collier on April 29.

Prosecutors say investors lost $21,161,864 in the scheme, which included furnishing money to purchasers to make initial payments for lots at the property at the base of Lookout Mountain near Rising Fawn, Ga.

Gott's attorney, John McDougal, is also pleading for reduced time in prison for his client. He said Gott played a minor role in the fraud.

The attorney said Gott has lost his house and had to file bankruptcy as a result of the case.

Attorney Summers said of the time facing Dobson, "The defendant contends that either range is greater than necessary and overstates the seriousness of the offense." He said "the loss amount overstates the seriousness of the offense and is an unreasonable measure of culpability for the offense."

The attorney said, "The loss amount calculation under §2B1.1 is a poor measurement for the offense’s seriousness or offender culpability. It does not differentiate between an individual running a Ponzi scheme and an individual like the defendant who was a land developer and trying to keep his business afloat while reinvesting the money he was earning back into the land. The defendant is different from someone running a Ponzi scheme, because he did not set out to defraud anyone, and lost everything he had trying to satisfy the payments to the banks.

"Dobson was a land developer who had lost everything trying to keep the development going, but, who because of a downturn in the market, now has a guideline range significantly higher than it would be if the market had not gone down. Dobson relied on others in the mortgage, banking, and real estate industries and did not set out with an intention of defrauding anyone. He is a much different defendant than someone who intentionally designed a scheme to steal from others or designed an extensive Ponzi scheme."

He said, "The only money that Dobson himself received was $7,500 following the Malik deal." 

Attorney Summers said the Dobson defense was put at a disadvantage when the Gott attorney inadvertently sent some privileged information about the case to the prosecution by email.

Attorney Chris Townley represented Dobson at the trial.

PHOTOS: Coca-Cola Bottling Breaks Ground On New Distribution Center

Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling celebrated its 115th year in opening a new distribution center on Shepherd Road (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Discusses SPCA Shelter, Budget, Service Weapons

Bradley County Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones told the commission Monday that when the Bradley County SPCA shelter reaches capacity, they legally cannot take any additional animals.   Because of this, she said a waiting list would open every time the shelter was full. However, she said, typically, the wait was no longer than a week.  During the Monday afternoon ... (click for more)

Vote To Retain Supreme Court Justices

On Aug. 7 or by voting early by Aug. 2, voters will choose to "retain" or "replace" Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade. If retained, they will serve for another eight years.  The retention election is a way to retain judges who make decisions based on the law and facts -or remove judges who are incompetent. Tennessee's Judicial Performance ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC To Host NPSL National Semifinals Saturday

After two straight weekends of back-to-back playoff victories, winning both the Southeastern and South Region championships, Chattanooga FC is in the NPSL National Playoffs powered by Mitre. The club received news today that its #2 ranking in the league means that the NPSL National Semifinal match will be hosted this Saturday in Finley Stadium. "We are extremely pleased to be ... (click for more)

Local Swimmers Excel At Georgia, Tennessee State Meets

Several Chattanooga-area swimmers had successful weekends in various meets this past weekend. The McCallie/GPS Aquatics team finished sixth out of 50 teams at the Southeastern Swimming Championship in Knoxville while swimmers from Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold also had memorable performances at the Georgia State Meet, also held last weekend. The McCallie/GPS team recorded ... (click for more)