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.

Collegedale Family Loses Home To Fire Tuesday Afternoon

A Collegedale family will be staying with family and friends Tuesday night after losing their house to a fire Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Donald Barbree, the homeowner, called 911 at 12:18 p.m. reporting a garage fire at 4440 Woodland Drive (Collegedale area). The Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and reported the house was fully involved on the back ... (click for more)

Cleveland's Mosby Pool Should Be Open To Public On Thursday After Many Delays

Dave Sheldon, head of the company contracted to construct the Mosby Pool, told the Cleveland City Council on Monday afternoon that the pool should be able to open to the public on Thursday. Many parents in the community have been frustrated because the pool was originally scheduled to be completed before summer started so that their children could enjoy it.  Councilman ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Wamp Refuses To Stoop

With less than two weeks before the Aug. 7 th election and the last week of early voting now underway in Hamilton County, Congressional challenger Weston Wamp sounded upbeat and relaxed early yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to say that I believe we are right where we need to be … maybe even more than we had hoped.” Wamp, who is challenging two-term incumbent Chuck Fleishmann ... (click for more)

Recap of 17 Stop, Prep Football Tour

Starting at Soddy Daisy at 7:44 a.m. and leaving Silverdale 14 hours later ( 9:58 p.m.), the fifth annual prep football tour made whistle stops at 17 schools covering 220 miles.   The Chattanooga Jamboree is Aug. 15-16 at Finley Stadium and the season openers are Thurs. Aug. 21   - Cleveland vs. McCallie (Finley Stadium) ... (click for more)

NPSL National Championship To Be Played At Red Bulls Arena

The NPSL announced on Monday that the national championship match between Chattanooga FC and the Red Bulls U23 will be played on Saturday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  The match will be played following an MLS match between New York Red Bulls and the New England Revolution.   Local fans took to social media to appeal for the game to be played in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)