A story in yesterday's Business and Finance section stated incorrectly that James W. Dyer pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges. As the second paragraph said, Dyer pleaded guilty to illegally selling unregistered securities and conspiracy to sell such securities.
The founder of a bankrupt Virginia real estate firm pleaded guilty yesterday to a pair of federal fraud charges for his part in a scheme whose victims included former presidential press secretary Ron Nessen, Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, restaurant executive Woodrow Marriott and about 500 other unfortunate investors.
James W. Dyer, chairman of Research Homes Inc. of McLean, pleaded guilty to selling unregistered securities and conspiracy to sell unregistered securities.
Judge Albert V. Gryan of U.S. District Court in Alexandria scheduled sentencing of Dyer for May 4 on the charges each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
The charges were made in a criminal information filed after an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Dyer is the third person charged in the collapse of Research Homes, a subdivision developer which was declared bankrupt in 1977.
A federal grand jury is continuing to investigate dealings of the firm, which the SEC accused in 1976 of defraudiang several hundred investors.
Last month, stockbroker Ricahrd M. Kulak pleaded no contest to a charge of transporting unregistered securities and agreed to cooperate with the grand jury probe. In February, Edward H. Coppage, a member of the board of directors of the firm, pleaded guilty to a charge of selling unregistered securities.
The charges date back to the early 1970s when Research Homes was developing two major projects, the 2,500 acre Crows Nest Harbor on the Potomac River in Stafford County, Va., and Pinehurst near Annapolis.
When the projects collapsed, investors lost money on both stock in the corporation and lots in the two developments.
Many of the victims were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints-the Morman Chruch. Dyer, a former Morman missionary, allegedly used his church
See HOMES, B2, Col.4
HOMES, From B1
background and connections to sway investors.
Among the investors was Woodrow D.Marriott, who put $400,000 into a 20 pecent interest in Crows Nest Harbor and bought 2,000 shares of Research Homes. Marriott later complained that his name was used to attract other investors.
Former White House aide Nessenm who bought stock in RHI when he was an NBC news correspondent, and TV cooking teacher Kerr, who met Dyer through their mutual interest in sailing yachts, also lost money on the deal.
An earlier SEC investigation of Research Homes charged that officers in the company made hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling their stock in the firm after they learned the business was on the verge of collapsing.