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Fraud charges for Golden Bear executives

Two former executives of a defunct construction company owned by Jack Nicklaus' Golden Bear Golf Inc. are facing federal securities fraud charges.

If convicted, Christopher Curbello and John R. Boyd face up to 35 years in prison and a $3,250,000 fine.

Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against them in U.S. District Court, charging they falsified records to hide losses.

The men are former executives at Paragon Construction International Inc., which was based in North Palm Beach. Boyd was president and Curbello vice president of operations at Paragon from January 1997 to April 1998, when they were fired.

Curbello was arrested Friday in San Antonio and is scheduled to have a pretrial hearing there Thursday. Boyd was arrested Tuesday in Bogota, Colombia and will appear in federal court in West Palm Beach on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

It could not be determined Tuesday if either man has hired an attorney.

As a subsidiary of Golden Bear, Paragon's overblown earnings and understated losses figured into the parent company's financial statements. It resulted in an inaccurate and misleading financial picture for Golden Bear, overstating its construction revenue by at least $25 million, or 85 percent, in 1997, according to the lawsuit.

Golden Bear eventually had to restate its financial results. Shareholders sued the company in 1998. At the time, Golden Bear blamed the situation on a former Paragon manager who had falsified records, hiding nearly $22 million in losses.

Golden Bear ceased being a publicly held company in 2000.


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