By Paul Gable
Sun News investigative reporter David Wren reported yesterday that Larry Duwayne Woods, the alleged mastermind behind the failed Bahama Island and Crystal Palace condominium projects financing scam, was arrested in San Diego, CA and will be returned to South Carolina to face charges.
Woods disappeared in 2007 when federal investigators began looking into the business dealings of local developers Jeff Shoup and Tommy Hix of T and J Development in North Myrtle Beach. Hix and Shoup are currently in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud in connection with the failed condominium projects.
Woods, through his alleged business Atlewa Trust, was supposed to finance the projects, but got away with approximately $5 million of escrow money paid by advance purchasers of the condominiums.
According to court documents, Woods, Rufus Paul Harris and Ancil Garvin, III formed Atlewa Trust in 2004. Harris is currently serving 23 years in federal prison in connection with a bogus stock scam through an associated business Conversion Solutions Holdings, Inc.
Garvin remains a free man in Dalton, GA despite being connected in court documents to the bogus financing of Atlewa Trust and even more egregious criminal activities I have written extensively about under the name of the “Southern Holdings case”.
In short, Garvin and several co-conspirators attempted to take over Southern Holdings, Inc. in 2000 by criminal means. Garvin was living in Myrtle Beach at the time.
Garvin was successful in enlisting the help of an assistant district attorney and sheriff’s deputy in Guilford County, NC as well as three Horry County sheriff’s deputies and three Horry County police officers to create a fraudulent felony warrant resulting in the fraudulent arrest of Southern Holdings CEO James Spencer.
The concept was with Spencer out of the way, Garvin and David Smith could successfully take over the shares and operations of Southern Holdings. While a small corporation, Southern Holdings had contracts that would have amounted to approximately $20 million in near term revenue for Garvin and Smith.
While they were successful in having Spencer arrested, they were not successful in getting him out of the way because the fraudulent warrant and arrest was exposed and all charges against Spencer dropped in a court hearing.
However, that is essentially where criminal investigation ceased. Despite solid evidence of the illegal actions of Garvin, Smith and the various law enforcement personnel involved, Horry County refused to file charges against them and even became involved in a conspiracy to cover up their illegal actions.
But, there is no statute of limitations on criminal charges in South Carolina. The evidence exists today just as plainly detailing the false warrant and arrest and cover up conspiracy as it did 10 or more years ago.
Local law enforcement officials never investigated Hix, Shoup, Woods, or Garvin in connection with criminal activity related to Bahama Island and Crystal Palace. It took federal officials and a federal grand jury to start the road to justice.
It’s still not too late to get Garvin. Charge him for his activities with Woods in the financing scheme for Bahama Island and Crystal Palace. While we have him here, get into the Southern Holdings conspiracy. The evidence can be made available to any federal investigator who wishes to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Way back in May 2000, three weeks before the chain of events that would become the Southern Holdings conspiracy began, Garvin produced a memo to his fellow conspirators. In it he bragged the police and lawyers would never let a case against him get to court and, if it did, the judge would not let the evidence be heard. So far, he is exactly correct.
It’s well past time to give some justice to the Southern Holdings investors, some of whom still live in Horry County. Garvin injured a number, both physically and financially, with his many illegal actions. He should not be allowed to go scot free in Georgia!