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Man guilty of fraud

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Suwanee man has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and bank fraud charges in a scheme to defraud more than $140,000 from a real estate company and a bank by creating a fictitious bank account.

This is the second federal offense for Robert W. Hughes, a former Delta Airlines pilot, who was convicted of wire and bankruptcy fraud in 1999 and sentenced to 17 months in federal prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 2 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

"The defendant in this case is like many others who believe they can commit fraud over and over again," U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said in a statement. "Often such fraud schemes take place in different communities as the (offender) moves on to the next deal. The FBI and other investigative agencies have been invaluable to our office in locating and helping us prosecute these repeat offenders."

From November 2002 to August 2004, Hughes engaged in a scheme to defraud a real estate development company and a bank, related to a golf community land deal on the Dawson County and Cherokee County line, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Acting as a consultant to the property owners interested in developing a golf course community, Hughes diverted checks intended for the real estate company, and deposited money into a separate account that he controlled, officials said.

The scheme resulted in losses to the real estate developer of more than $80,000 and losses to the bank of more than $60,000.