Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Promoter sentenced after fraudulent Southfork Ranch concert scheme, DOJ says

Man faces two decades in prison for wire fraud -- restitution to be decided at a later date

The Ewing Mansion is known worldwide for being the setting of the TV series "Dallas."

A Florida man is headed to federal prison after federal investigators say he took roughly $3 million from investors for concerts that were supposed to be held at Southfork Ranch.

The DOJ said Friday that 68-year-old James Walker Watson Jr had been sentenced to 20 years behind bars for wire fraud after prosecutors said he pretended to be a concert promotor and raised money for events to be held in North Texas.

Federal investigators said Watson took money from investors and promised a quick turnaround for concerts at the iconic Southfork Ranch in Plano. But the DOJ said those events either never took place or were smaller than represented.

According to the federal complaint, Watson told investors he needed the money for business expenses, booking bands, paying legal bills, and buying goods and assured them their money would be returned quickly and that they would receive a profit.

The scam, the DOJ said, resulted in losses for the victims of about $3 million.

U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant said restitution would be determined at a separate hearing.

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