Chesterton Tribune



Dunes Country Mortgage partners sentenced for securities fraud

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The Indiana Secretary of State’s Office at deadline today announced that Gary Atkinson and Donna Harris, both of Porter County, were convicted of securities fraud and acting as unregistered broker-dealers which are Class C felonies.

Atkinson and Harris were each sentenced to eight years of probation. Atkinson and Harris were also ordered to pay $2,183,831 in restitution to thirty-six victims.

Atkinson and Harris offered investment opportunities under the name Dunes Country Mortgage Partners or NovaStar Securities. This investment opportunity involved a purported real estate development along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Atkinson and Harris sold promissory notes that promised a ten-percent return.

“I would like to thank Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel and his office for their work on this case,” said Secretary Connie Lawson. “As a reminder, a simple background check with my office could save your precious investment dollars.”

In 2007, the Securities Division brought an Enforcement Action against Atkinson and Harris that was resolved when Atkinson and Harris agreed to be permanently barred from the investment adviser and securities industry. Despite that bar, Atkinson and Harris continued to sell promissory notes to investors.

“Real estate investment scams are unfortunately very common,” said Securities Commissioner Alex Glass. “Always check with the Securities Division to make sure an investment is legitimate.”

For information on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud visit


Posted 9/22/2016




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