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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Friedlund’s antics at an end

John H. “Herb” Friedlund faces witness tampering charge.
John H. “Herb” Friedlund faces witness tampering charge.

A sentence on Friday of 10 years likely ends any chance of John "Herb" Friedlund of ever seeing another sunrise as a free man.

At 79, and in poor health, Friedlund also faces several felonies in federal court now that he has been convicted of raiding the retirement account of Frances Swan, who is now 107. Nearly $1 million is gone.

In a rambling three-hour interview in April, Friedlund made it sound as if Swan was the one who wanted to meet the young men on gay websites. It was she, Friedlund said, who recommended buying one young man in Texas a new car and sending him money for a surgery.

It was always somebody else: Frances' family or her caretakers who were stealing from her. A jury of his peers saw it differently last week.

Read previous coverage here, here and here.

Thomas Clouse
Thomas Clouse joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He s currently the deputy editor for the business section. He previously worked as an investigative reporter for the City Desk and covering federal, state and local courts for many years.

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