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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: James Harris

Convicted conman pleads guilty to fraud

A conman who went to prison for duping people out of $124,000 for a fraudulent cattle farm investment is likely headed back here after pleading guilty to a similar scheme in North Idaho.

James Andrew Harris, 44, pleaded guilty to wire fraud Monday and faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 5.

Harris admitted to stealing about $108,000 from a Florida resident whom he'd solicited as an investor in the beef industry.

Harris told the victim he had a “connection” who helped restaurants, supermarkets and other purchasers of beef finance their purchases, according to a news release by the U.S. Attorney's Office. “Harris represented that there was a great deal of money to be made in financing the purchases and encouraged the individual to participate.”

Harris created the email account ibuybeef@yahoo.com to assist in the fraud, which occurred between July 2010 and June 2011.

The fraud began less than three months after Harris was released from federal prison after being sentenced to 27 months for the cattle investment fraud. Harris paid those investors with counterfeit checks, according to a plea agreement.
  

2 arrested in gunpoint home-invasion

A gunpoint home-invasion robbery in southwest Spokane County early Wednesday led to the arrest of two men.

Mario Casillas, 42, and James T. Harris, 36, are accused of forcing their way into a rental unit at in the 6200 block of South Pendell Lane about 1:15 a.m. and stealing money at gunpoint.

The victim, Nick Wright, told police he was struck in the head and threatened with the gun while the men said he owed them money, but the victim said he'd never met the men.

Police recovered $350, Wright's driver's license and other stolen property after stopping the suspects at North Nevada Street and East Garland Avenue. Their car had grass stuck in it that was consistent with vehicle marks left on the grass outside the victim's flat, according to court documents.

Harris and Casillas were booked into Spokane County Jail for first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.

Casillas has had a felony warrant out for his arrest since March because he didn't submit a DNA sample after a felony protection-order violation conviction.

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