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Porter man faces 17 charges in real estate fraud case

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) – A northwest Indiana man now faces 17 charges in a real estate fraud case after prosecutors filed three more on accusations he misspent investor funds on a cruise.

The Times reports 50-year-old Donald Johnson of Porter pleaded not guilty to the new charges Monday in court.

Another hearing in the case has been set for June 15. His defense attorney says the additional time is needed to meet with the Indiana secretary of state’s office.

Johnson is suspected of taking $158,000 from someone in January 2014 to invest in a real estate deal. Prosecutors say he spent part of the money on the cruise.

Johnson also faces forgery and theft charges based on allegations he signed other people’s names on insurance checks and kept the money.