Attorney General’s office announces 15-year jail sentence in real estate investment scam

Wilmington, DE – February 17, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, in a securities fraud case prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Securities Unit, Thomas Dolby was sentenced to 15 years in prison for defrauding investors out of more than $400,000 in a real estate investment scam.

“Our prosecution of case and the significant jail sentence this defendant will serve demonstrate that we take financial crimes very seriously,” Attorney General Biden stated. “The large amount of money this defendant stole from his victims has had a destructive impact on their lives and, while he has faced appropriate and severe consequences through the criminal justice system, no amount of jail time will repair the damage the victims and their families have suffered. I want to  congratulate Deputy Attorney General Greg Strong and Special Investigator Kevin Lange for theirexcellent work on this complicated case.”

Dolby, age 40, of Smyrna, was indicted in June, 2010 with securities fraud, theft, and racketeering. The indictment alleged that Dolby solicited funds that he claimed would be invested in a real estate development project in Turkey. A complaint filed with the Attorney General’s Office by a Delaware investor initiated an eight month investigation by the Securities Unit, which revealed a sophisticated scheme where Dolby built a level of trust of victims by befriending them as he took in $419,000 from seven investors in two states. The funds were not invested as promised, but instead were retained and used by the defendant for his personal expenses and to fund a gambling addiction. Records showed that from July, 2008 through July, 2009, Dolby wagered more than $950,000 in bets in two Delaware casinos. Investigators also learned that Dolby was not properly registered to sell securities in Delaware, and the investment was not registered with Delaware officials as required by state law. On November 23, 2010, Dolby pled guilty to one count of racketeering. Dolby was sentenced today in New Castle County Superior Court by Judge John A. Parkins, Jr.

The Attorney General’s office encourages any investors who believe they may be a victim of investment fraud to contact its Securities Unit at (302) 577-8424.

CONTACT
JASON MILLER
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
PHONE (302) 577-8949
CELL (302) 893-8939
Jason.Miller (at) state.de (dot) us

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