Virginia man pleads guilty in boat-sale fraud case


A man faces up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to 33 charges related to selling boats at Smith Mountain Lake, Va.

John Alan Arthur, 33, entered an Alford plea in Franklin County Circuit Court to three felony and 30 misdemeanor charges stemming from transactions at a marina near Bridgewater Plaza between August 2008 and June 2010, the Franklin News-Post reported.

An Alford plea is a guilty plea in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but concedes that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict on the charges.

Arthur, of Moneta, Va., was indicted in August 2010 on seven felony counts, including obtaining money under false pretense, perjury of boating documents and forgery of public records, according to the newspaper.

He also was indicted on 35 misdemeanor charges, including failing to pay taxes to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, selling boats without a dealer's license and failing to register boats.

As part of the plea agreement Arthur is required to make restitution of $137,000 to the Virginia Department of Taxation and customers.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

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