Man convicted in fraudulent land development scheme

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Nassau County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Furman Clark. Jr.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A 65-year-old man was convicted Tuesday of organized fraud for his role in a fraudulent land development scheme in Nassau County.

The scheme by Furman Clark. Jr. was intended to swindle investors out of more than $250,000. The verdict was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and the state attorney's office.

"I am pleased that justice has been served in this case," said Commissioner Drew J. Breakspear. "I thank the Office of the State Attorney and our partners in law enforcement for helping protect Floridians and ensuring that these types of criminals are prosecuted."

The joint investigation revealed that from January 2008 through April 2009, Clark obtained at least $250,000 from investors in Florida and Georgia. The investors were told they would receive interests in limited liability companies. Clark falsely represented that the funds invested would be used for real estate projects, and that he had exclusive rights to purchase the properties to be developed.

However, investigators found that much of the investors' money was used for Clark's personal expenses and not for land or real estate development. Clark also failed to disclose his history of financial problems to investors, and that he was a previously convicted felon.

The Fernandina Beach Police Department assisted in the arrest of Clark on Feb. 2, 2011.

A sentencing hearing is set for April 24. Clark faces up to 30 years in prison.

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