Archive for Thursday, February 11, 2010

Founder of theme park convicted of fraud

February 11, 2010


— The founder of the bankrupt Wild West World theme park near Wichita has been convicted on seven counts of securities fraud.

Thomas Etheredge was acquitted Wednesday of two other counts of fraud by a Sedgwick County District Court jury that deliberated for two days.

Sentencing is set for March 12.

The charges stemmed from Etheredge’s efforts to raise capital for the theme park between 2005 and 2007. Wild West World was open for two months before going bankrupt in July 2007.

Prosecutors said Etheredge persuaded investors to give him $735,000 for the park by providing false or incomplete information about his past.

Etheredge has said he budgeted correctly for the $24 million project but that poor weather and construction cost overruns led to the park’s demise.


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