- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A Mohave County family will be sentenced in October for pleas entered in a fraud case involving millions of dollars taken from investors and spent on luxury items.

El Rio Country Club and Golf Course owner John Hoover may spend more than 12 years in prison and may have to pay back as much as $30 million to investors as part of his agreement with prosecutors, the Arizona Republic reported (https://bit.ly/1SOTjP9).

An investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation found the developer took investors’ money and then filed for bankruptcy in 2011 to try and cover up assets.

The family was indicted in 2014. Investigators say Hoover had been taking money for fraudulent real estate developments and spending it on personal expenses since 1997.

Investigators said he used investor money to pay for items like a $3.5 million apartment in Paris and a $150,000 Bentley. A search of Hoover’s home last year resulted in the discovery of jewelry and fur coats worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Hoover’s wife Deborah and son John Brandon pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud. They both face sentences that include $5 million each in restitution to investors.

Deborah could be sentenced to two years in prison, while John Brandon could get an 18-month deferred sentence.

The plea agreement is contingent on all three family members forfeiting assets and paying restitution without a fight.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for October.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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