Park Owner's Past Keeps Him Behind Bars

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A judge in Wichita says past legal issues are behind his decision to not lower bond for the former owner of a defunct amusement park.

Thomas Etheredge faces 10 counts of securities fraud connected to his efforts to raise money for Wild West World from 2005 until its bankruptcy in 2007.

Sedgwick County District Court Judge Ben Burgess said Etheredge's past includes evidence that he fled the country to avoid prosecution.

Kansas Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs alleges that Etheredge made misrepresentations or failed to disclose facts when raising more than $800,000 from investors for the amusement park, near Park City.

Steve Joseph, Etheredge's attorney, says his client had plenty of opportunities to leave the country before his arrest on the current charges if he had wanted, but he didn't.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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