He Blinded Them With Turkey: Del. Man Accused of Real Estate Swindle

Hagia Sophia - turkish real estate scamWith promises of riches through investments in Turkish real estate, a Delaware man conned investors out of $419,000, according to the Delaware Attorney General's office.

Instead of an investment, Thomas Dolby, 40, of Smyrna, Del., used the money to support a gambling habit and lifestyle, the state said. Dolby -- not to be confused with the British musician popular in the 1980s -- was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to a single count of racketeering."Our prosecution of this case and the significant jail sentence this defendant will serve to demonstrate that we take financial crimes very seriously," Attorney General Joseph Biden III said in a statement (PDF).

"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."

The state's investigation showed how Dolby befriended the seven would-be investors in two states for a scam land development project in Turkey. Records showed Dolby wagered more than $950,000 at two Delaware casinos between July 2008 and July 2009. Neither Dolby nor the investment opportunity were registered with the state, as Delaware law required.

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