Texas man gets 17 years in prison in fake Disney park scam
SHERMAN, Texas (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 17 ? years in prison for swindling investors with a fake story about a Walt Disney theme park in North Texas.
The judge also ordered Thomas W. Lucas Jr. of Plano to pay $8.4 million in restitution Tuesday.
Lucas was convicted on seven counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to the FBI.
Prosecutors say Lucas defrauded more than 280 investors out of about $20 million from 2006 to 2010. Those who paid for land in Collin and Denton counties were told it was on the edges of the future park. Investors hoped to sell the land to developers for a profit after Disney made an announcement.
The Walt Disney Co. has denied rumors of a North Texas theme park.
Legislative deal reached for Texas horse racing to resume
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A legislative deal has been reached to continue funding for the Texas Racing Commission that would allow horse and dog tracks to reopen.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced the agreement Tuesday night, pending final action by Gov. Greg Abbott. Aides say the governor supports the measure.
The Legislative Budget Board has agreed to finance the Texas Racing Commission for three months.
Commissioners last week voted to let Texas tracks use "historical racing" terminals, allowing people to bet on already-run races that were stripped of identifying information.
Some lawmakers oppose such betting and threatened to withhold funding for the commission.
$31.5 million in state funding going to Alamo
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — State officials say the Alamo is to benefit from $31.5 million for preservation and development of the downtown San Antonio shrine.
Land Commissioner George P. Bush has scheduled a Wednesday news conference at the Alamo with legislative members and top Bexar (BEAR) County and San Antonio officials to describe the state appropriation and the legislative support that made it possible.
The Legislature mandated establishing a museum for artifacts, including 200 pieces that musician Phil Collins gave Texas last year. The General Land Office took over management of the Alamo from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which had the responsibility for the former mission for more than a century.
Abbott urges Texas Congressional
delegation to oppose Iran deal
AUSTIN – Ahead of Congress’ return from recess next week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to each member of the Texas Congressional Delegation urging them to vote against President Obama’s deal with Iran and reaffirm the United States’ support for Israel.
Abbott also declared Texas’ intention to continue its efforts in prohibiting public investment in Iran and called on private enterprises to follow suit should a deal pass.
“Entering into an agreement with a country that consistently calls for ‘death to America’ and expecting them to live up to this deal is not only short-sighted, it is turning a blind eye to geopolitical realities,” Abbott wrote in the letter. “I call upon the Texas Congressional delegation to reject President Obama’s deal with Iran, reaffirm our nation’s support for Israel, and uphold states’ rights to prohibit investment that would benefit Iran.”
Abbott also wrote, “Texas will continue its efforts to prohibit investments in Iran. Texas law currently bans taxpayer-funded investment in Iran and with entities that do business with Iran. … It is my hope that Congress will reject the president’s deal, but should it move forward, Texas will do everything it can to prevent public investment in Iran.”