Two Lower 48 businessmen who committed to raise millions of dollars to develop an Alaska gold mine on an island just south of Kodiak were arrested Wednesday on counts of securities and wire fraud.
The men are accused of bilking millions of dollars from unwary investors in the Sitkinak Island gold mine and an unrelated real-estate scheme in the Lower 48.
One of the two is a former Alaskan, William Lange, 63. He had a checkered history in Alaska. In the past, Lange has been fined by the state for consumer law violations involving condo time-shares in Seward and for illegal moose hunting.
In December, a federal grand jury indicted Lange, now of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Joseph Pascua, of Lake Tapps, Wash., on three counts of fraud. The two were accused of defrauding 300 private investors of an estimated $9 million in connection with the gold mine and home-building projects in areas recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
Prosecutors said the indictment was unsealed Wednesday.
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