A Colleyville man has been arrested by federal agents and accused of scamming more than $3.7 million from nearly 100 investors for a wind farm that never existed.
David Lyman Spalding promised people a generous return on the money they invested in Wind Plus Inc., a renewable-energy company he created, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Spalding then spent most of the money for his personal benefit, according to the indictment.
Spalding was arrested Nov. 12 at his Colleyville home on one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. He remains free while awaiting trial. Spalding could not be reached for comment, and John Nicholson, the federal public defender representing Spalding, declined to comment.
From April 2004 to July 2009, Spalding created and distributed promissory notes to investors in 11 states, persuading them to make payments to his company, according to the indictment.
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But officials with the U.S. attorney’s office said in the indictment that Spalding used those funds to acquire real estate, travel overseas and buy jewelry — including a $76,000 ring — all while lying to the people who trusted him.
“He turned deals down because he thought he would find a deeper pocket who would give him more money,” said Don Delaney, an investor who said he gave Spalding more than $225,000. “He knew the game, and he knew the technology. He talked the talk, but he didn’t walk the walk. He got too deep into it. He had a colossal ego.”
Spalding would not spend money to complete Wind Plus projects, telling investors that cash was tight, the indictment said.
Spalding used that excuse to quell investors’ concerns, even as he bought a personal residence in the 3900 block of Spring Garden Drive in Colleyville, valued in 2013 at nearly $300,000 by the Tarrant Appraisal District, according to public records.
Delaney initially invested $50,000 but said Spalding kept coming back for more after making a small payment to him. The note that Spalding issued to Delaney was supposed to begin accruing 10 percent interest if not paid back within a year, Delaney said.
The indictment says Spalding did not pay anyone back within the specified time frames.
Spalding also promised that if the company went public, the note-holders could buy shares at a penny apiece, Delaney said.
“I warned him in 2009 that I was going to the FBI if he didn’t get some things together,” Delaney said. “He said he was going to get my money back, so I waited. By June 2010, it was clear I wasn’t going to get any of my money back. Then he said he didn’t owe us any money because of the statute of limitations.
“This is not about retribution. This is about justice. I’ve already been mad,” Delaney said. “I’ve already gotten over it.”