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Real Estate Fraudster|Faces Hard Time

DENVER (CN) - A real estate investment fund manager pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud people of $9.7 million they invested in Texas apartment complexes.

Thomas B. Evans, 47, of Centennial, Colo., pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Prosecutors said Evans and a co-conspirator defrauded investors in Garden Stone Apartments, Ventana Apartments and Aspen Chase Investments limited partnerships.

They promised to use the LPs to buy, renovate, operate and sell the apartment complexes for profit. But prosecutors said they misappropriated money, prepared and sent false financial statements to investors and banks, misrepresented the progress of apartment renovations and occupancy rates and sent false rent rolls to banks and lenders.

The properties were put into receivership in April 2007.

The SEC sued Evans in 2009 and settled with him, in a deal in which Evans did not have to admit guilt.

In the present case, Evans pleaded guilty to a criminal information that was filed on Nov. 18, 2011.

He faces up to 30 years in federal prison at his Aug. 14 sentencing.

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