- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California real estate developer has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for defrauding his partners of nearly $900,000 in a Florida shopping center scam.

United States District Judge David O. Carter on Monday also ordered 72-year-old William Warren Geary to pay restitution of $891,000 to the investors.

Geary in September pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering.

According to court documents Geary asked his partners for the funds in 2009 for what he called tenant improvements at the Daytona Beach shopping center they jointed owned.

But instead, prosecutors say Geary took the money for his personal use.

A statement from the Internal Revenue Service said Geary was the managing partner at the Ocean Walk Shoppes through his company, Los Angeles-based Carlsberg Management.

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