Jury takes 15 minutes to convict in real estate 'investment' deal – Chron.com

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A real estate entrepreneur was sentenced to 20 years in state prison for securities fraud and theft for swindling investors in Harris, Nueces and Collin counties.

Everett Craig Williams was also ordered to pay $189,000 in restitution to investors who didn’t know the money they thought they were putting into real estate was actually going to pay Williams’ personal expenses, according to the Texas State Securities Board, which investigated the case. Williams sold investment contracts and promissory notes issued by Favor Ministries Inc. that were supposed to generate profits from real estate deals.

The jury took 15 minutes to return its verdict against Williams after a two day trial in Corpus Christi, according to the state securities board. State district Judge Bobby Galvan sentenced Williams earlier this week.

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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 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.

Williams was taken into custody after the jury reached its verdict. His lawyer could not be reached for comment.