Ector 'Doomsday Resort' Developer Faces Federal Money Laundering Charges
The owner of a planned luxury community conceived as a so-called “doomsday resort” in Fannin County is under investigation by the FBI. He also faces separate civil charges.
John Eckerd, the man behind the planned Trident Lakes community in Northeast Texas, is accused of knowingly laundering $200,000 on behalf of a Colombian drug cartel.
That’s according to a filing in US District Court in New Jersey. The filing states that FBI agents posing as members of the cartel met with Eckerd and another, as-yet unnamed co-conspirator between September and March. Federal prosecutors accuse the men of planning to launder as much as $2 million a month through an unspecified development project.
In a separate case, a Dallas man has accused Eckerd of misappropriating $13 million dollars. CBS’s Dallas affiliate reported that the man claims he thought he was investing in a tire company. Instead he reportedly learned that his money was funneled to Trident Lakes Holding Corp.
Trident Lakes, planned to be built in the sleepy rural town of Ector in Fannin County, is a super-fortified $320 million gated community designed to withstand every kind of cataclysm imaginable. That goes for everything from nuclear fallout to a zombie apocalypse. According to its website, the community is intended as "a 5-star Resort Equipped for Security, Survivability, and Sustainability.”
Eckerd was released a $100,000 bond and had to surrender his passport and firearms. He is currently negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors over the money laundering charges.
The case involving the investor is pending trial.