Everett Craig Williams, a real estate entrepreneur, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars for swindling thousands of dollars from investors, according to an article written by L.M Sixel at the Houston Chronicle.
Williams was expected to generate profits from real estate deals, produced from investment contracts and promissory notes issued by Favor Ministries Inc. Instead, the real estate agent used the money to finance his personal expenses, according the article.
Earlier this week, District Judge Bobby Galvan ordered Williams to pay investors $189,000 in restitution fees and sentenced him 20 years in state prison for securities fraud and theft.
From the article:
Williams sold securities in a real estate investment program without telling investors he owed millions in civil court judgments, unpaid child support and judgments against him in bankruptcy court, according to the state securities board. Nor did he tell investors that in previous investment programs he sold he lost a significant portion of the money people had put up.
"We are obviously disappointed with the jury verdict," said Houston criminal defense lawyer John Floyd who represents Williams. But he was especially disappointed that Williams, a first-time offender, received a 20-year sentence for a non-violent property crime. The state of Texas was arguing for a 40-year term, said Floyd.
Floyd said that Williams had good intentions in his dealings but the business deals went bad.
Williams was immediately taken to jail after sentencing, according to the article.
Earlier this month, a Californian family also accused of $20 million mortgage fraud was sentenced to 45 years in jail.