No Rest For These Weary InvestorsAntonio Fins
Many of the beleaguered customers of General Development Corp., the huge Florida developer, may feel mired in an Everglades backwater. During the 1980s, lured by the company's pitches, investors eagerly bought up GDC houses as well as lots in its huge developments. While GDC didn't mimic the swampland sales of the worst of the state's developers, its high-pressure and misleading sales practices led to fraud indictments against the company and four top officers in 1990. After the executives were convicted and served about two years of their sentence, an appeals court last March ordered them released on bail while it reviews the case. Also in 1990, GDC filed for bankruptcy and pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. It emerged from bankruptcy in 1992 with new management and a new name, Atlantic Gulf Communities Corp. Its goal: to liquidate its assets, mainly raw land in 15 Florida counties, and make restitution to GDC customers.
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