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Sirens & Gavels

Scheme promised to harness lightning

A Spokane man who claimed to have invented a computer chip that could capture energy from lightning strikes is set to ask for his relese from jail today on federal charges that he defrauded investors of more than $2.5 million.

Robert B. Hiatt, 65, presented himself to investors for a decade as a successful inventor and businessman, according to the indictment on three counts of wire fraud returned Wednesday by a grand jury.

Hiatt pleaded not guilty Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno. Hiatt claimed to have inside tracks to contracts with major companies and solicited investors using front companies that looked real, according to the indictment.  A bail hearing is set today before Imbrogno.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.


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