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Man Once Involved in Grand Prairie, Texas Wildflower Resort Plans
 Sentenced to 4 1/2 Years; Defrauded $13 million from 176 Investors
By Jon Nielsen, The Dallas Morning NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Mar. 25, 2008 - A man once involved in plans to build a lakeside resort in Grand Prairie was sentenced last week to 4 1/2 years in federal prison.

The U.S. District Court in Seattle also ordered Joseph Lavin to pay $11.6 million in restitution for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with an investment fraud scheme.

Mr. Lavin, 42, operated Global Asset Partners LLC, and defrauded about $13 million from 176 investors, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

According to a separate but related lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Mr. Lavin, about $1.8 million of his investors' money was wired without their knowledge to Wildflower Resort Co. The money was to be used for the startup of the $350 million lakeside resort on Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie.

Wildflower and its owner, Raymond Goad, filed for bankruptcy in November 2006. A bankruptcy trustee is accepting bids for the plans for the resort; the deadline for bids is April 30.

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Dallas Morning News

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