News In Brief - June 16, 2007

Free produce coupons to be given away Tuesday

The York County Council on Aging and S.C. Department of Social Services will give out free coupons to low-income individuals age 60 and older that can be used to buy fresh produce at participating local farmer's markets.

The coupons will be issued from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Senior Center at Highland Park, 917 Standard St. in Rock Hill.

Each eligible person will receive $25 worth of coupons that can be used through Oct. 15. Coupons will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Proof of identity and York County residence is required. Applicants also must meet household income eligibility limits and proof must be provided. Social security numbers must also be provided.

For more information, call the Council on Aging at 327-6694.

Charlotte broker pleads guilty to securities fraud

COLUMBIA -- A former securities broker pleaded guilty Friday to eight counts of securities fraud for his role in the bankruptcy of the Thaxton Group, according to state Attorney General Henry McMaster's office.

James Garrett Jr. of Charlotte, N.C., was sentenced a short time later to eight years in prison, suspended to five years probation, on each of the counts. Circuit Judge Daniel Pieper also ordered Garrett to pay more than $75,000 in restitution, McMaster's spokesman Mark Plowden said.

Garrett was president of the subsidiary Thaxton Securities. When the Thaxton Group filed for bankruptcy in October 2003, more than 6,800 investors lost $120 million. About 1,500 South Carolina residents account for about $50 million of that loss.

The indictments filed against Garrett in 2005 said many of those investors lost their money because of Garrett's actions.