California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Developer Pleads Guilty in Running Horse Golf and Country Club Real Estate Fraud

A former Carmel real estate broker has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and money laundering as a result of a high-end golf course project in Fresno. He could receive up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced this November U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh.

Thomas J. O’Meara III was the president of Cypress Investment Corp. in Carmel. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern California, O’Meara, defrauded more than 50 investors in the Running Horse Golf and Country Club project out of more than $16 million. O’Meara’s license to practice real estate was revoked in 2008.

O’Meara’s plea deal includes paying restitution of $7 million in restitution to his victims, some of whom lost millions, such as the family of Carmel real estate broker Joyce Scampa. Prosecuters stated that total losses were $25 million.

The Running Horse Golf and Country Club was a speculative 450-acre development that apparently attracted investors with its golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and 780 upper-end homes. None of the homes were ever built and only two holes of the golf course were completed.

Read the original article in the Monterey County Herald.

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