December 5, 2012
Former Carmel realtor Thomas O'Meara didn't make par on this one.
The 66-year-old was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for a $16 million scheme to defraud investors for a development he'd planned near Fresno.
O'Meara entered a plea agreement, admitting he recruited some 50 investors to front the cash for an 18-hole golf course and development called Running Horse Golf and Country Club.
O'Meara lied to investors about plans for PGA golf tour at the property and about backing from pro golfer Jack Nicklaus' firm, Nicklaus Design, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.
In sentencing O'Meara, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh also ordered a three-year supervised released, and a hearing on restitution to victims of the fraud. The restitution hearing will take place February 6.
The investigation was part of President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, launched in 2009 to wage an aggressive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. More than 20 federal agencies and nearly 100 attorneys' offices participate in the biggest law enforcement coalition ever assembled to fight fraud.
Over the past three years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants.