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Legal troubles mount for restaurant owner
Red Steer pic1
Tracy Smith is facing an arson charge for the 2009 fire that destroyed the Red Steer restaurant, along with a list of other felony charges. - photo by Journal file photo

The ongoing legal proceedings for Red Steer owner Tracy Smith were granted another continuance as details of the latest criminal charges filed against him emerged.
Smith is facing an arson charge for the 2009 fire that destroyed the Red Steer restaurant on Golden State Boulevard. He also is facing felony charges of passing bad checks. The latest charges lodged against Smith are five felony counts of obtaining money/etc. by false pretenses, according to court records.
The charges stem back to 2007 and allege Smith and Manuel Arroyo fraudulently obtained $800,000 from a 69-year-old Turlock woman for an investment opportunity that never materialized.
According to the court records, the woman told Turlock Police Detective Sergio Perez that she gave Smith and Arroyo $800,000 to invest in a large parcel of land in Atwater that would become the home of a racetrack, lodgings, restaurants and other businesses.
The woman told the detective she was promised she would get $912,000 back within eight months of her investment. Instead, she was paid $3,500 over an 18 month period, according to the court records. She told the investigator she got the money by taking out home loans on some of her properties and because she wasn't paid back two of the properties were foreclosed upon.
The 69-year-old was given handwritten notarized notes promising the return of her investment and profits.
Some of the investment checks were deposited into Smith's bank account, according to the court records.
Smith has had multiple civil suits filed against him from plaintiffs seeking money allegedly owed by him and/or the other companies he owns.
Smith's next court appearance is scheduled for June 18.