Apr 17, 2008

A flim-flam man or charlatan

A 54-year-old real estate broker was found guilty of securities fraud and sentenced to seven years in prison and 33 years probation.

Richard Dale Lavigne, of Henry County, took about $140,000 from two men in a land deal, but instead of investing the money, he spent it, a Clayton County jury found on Wednesday.

"He played a con game using Christianity as a means to get to these people," said Jeff Lacy, a Clayton County assistant district attorney.

Lacy told the jury that Lavigne was an old-fashioned scammer, a flim-flam man or charlatan, who played a "big, huge, shell game" hiding and stealing other people's money.

Lavigne represented himself as a upstanding church member, who attended Sunday school, tithed generously, and asked people to pray for him, Lacy said. He owned a construction company, a real estate company and a number of other corporations, and regularly solicited area church-goers for investments in real estate deals.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Real estate dealer, who preyed on Christians, found guilty