Coeur d’Alene Man Sentenced to 61 Months and Ordered to Pay Over $108,000 to Victim
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 06, 2012|
COEUR D’ALENE—James Andrew Harris, 44, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also fined Harris $5,000 and ordered him to pay the victim $108,610.27 in restitution. Harris pleaded guilty to the charges on August 12, 2012.
According to the factual basis agreed to at the time of his plea, Harris admitted that he telephoned a Florida resident about an alleged investment opportunity. Harris represented to the individual that he had a connection in the beef industry who helped restaurants, supermarkets, and other purchasers of beef to finance their purchases. Harris employed a second e-mail account during the scheme and represented to the victim that it belonged to a legitimate cattle rancher. Harris admitted that he falsely reported gains on the investment to the victim. In total, the victim wire transferred over $108,000 to Harris during this fraud scheme.
In 2008, Harris was convicted of a fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Washington. At yesterday’s sentencing, Judge Lodge revoked Harris’ supervised release and sentenced him to ten months in prison to be served consecutive to the sentenced imposed above, for a total of 61 months. Harris owes $89,348 to the victims of the 2008 fraud.
“Mr. Harris has repeatedly abused the trust of those he convinces to invest with him,” said Olson. “His sentence of more than four years sends the clear message that repeated fraud will be met with swift punishment by the courts.”
The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.