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Federal fraud, conspiracy charges filed against hotel developer

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From Post staff reports

A local man who with others was the developer of the Hotel Indigo in downtown Nashville has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering as it pertains to his former ownership of the business.

Mark Lineberry, a resident of Mt. Juliet and also an attorney, and Delaina Thompson, his partner in a company called 1st Trust Title of Mt. Juliet, are both charged in the indictment that was filed on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The indictment from the federal grand jury alleges that Lineberry and Thompson committed $9.25 million in fraud.

It alleges also that the two, operating as 1st Trust, said payments were being made as required on a loan and into escrow which the grand jury says did not occur. The loan was made by Branch Banking and Trust Company, better known as BB&T.

The indictment by the federal grand jury grew out of a disagreement that began in 2010 when officials with BB&T and Federal National Title Insurance claimed that Hotel Indigo and 1st Trust were combining assets and not paying the money to lenders and insurers that was due.

BB&T officials have said since the disagreement began that they had no knowledge of Lineberrys relationship with the hotel and 1st Trust.

The indictment also alleges that Lineberry, through Thompson, tried to obtain loans from BB&T by saying that Hotel Indigos title was free of any liens or other encumbrances.

The grand jury is asking for forfeiture of property and the $9.25 million that allegedly resulted from the 12 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering charges from both Lineberry and Thompson.

Lineberry is also involved in a civil lawsuit filed against him by his partner in the downtown Nashville Hotel Indigo, Keith Worsham. The company they founded, called 315 Union Street Holdings, filed for bankruptcy in December 2010. A company out of North Carolina, Winston Hospitality, purchased the hotel in the fall of 2011.

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