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Telemarketer gets 3 years for scam against the elderly

SHARE Telemarketer gets 3 years for scam against the elderly

A Nevada telemarketer who admitted selling overpriced gold coins to senior citizens has been sent to federal prison for nearly three years, the maximum time allowed.

U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson likened Harry Harlow, 51, of Las Vegas, to a pickpocket while sentencing him last week. He gave him a 33-month prison sentence and ordered that Harlow pay restitution.Harlow, 51 ran businesses in Nevada and California that hawked gold, silver and bronze coins, purportedly from the shipwreck of the Admiral Gardner.

Harlow admitted he bought the coins for about $4 each and was reselling them for approximately $100 each, while misleading customers into believing they were a solid investment that was increasing in value.

The youngest of Harlow's Utah victims was 75, and the rest were in their 80s and 90s.

"You systematically stole money from very vulnerable people," Benson said. "This was no different than going out on the sidewalk and stealing money from people's pockets."

One Vernal woman, now in her 90s, lost nearly $250,000, Benson pointed out.

Harlow pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. As part of his plea deal, charges against his wife, Laura, were dropped.

"I truly am sorry for all the grief I caused," he said.