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ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — A western North Carolina land developer accused of cheating banks out of more than $20 million and buying jets and homes in three states is asking for a taxpayer-paid defense attorney.

Keith Vinson of Asheville and four co-defendants are free on $1 million bond each after facing charges they used a large Henderson County development to defraud banks.

Vinson owned and operated Seven Falls Golf and River Club in Etowah. A federal grand jury last week indicted Vinson and four others on fraud and money-laundering charges. The indictment says they had false borrowers take out bank loans and use the proceeds.

Bank of Asheville was one of about a half-dozen banks that made multiple loans to Vinson on Seven Falls-related transactions. The failed bank was closed by regulators last year.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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