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Second of Nine Individuals Charged in Attempted $17 Million Fraud of DOT Gets Fifteen Years in Jail

William Oscar Harris, of Atlantic City, NJ, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Camden, NJ to over 15 years in jail, five years supervised release, and ordered to pay fines and restitution totaling $109,477 for his part in a scheme with eight other individuals to defraud DOT and other entities of $17 million. A May 2004 indictment charged all nine individuals with conspiracy to produce and pass false and fictitious money orders. DOT suffered no monetary loss, but some creditors accepting the money orders lost about $91,977. In July 2004, Harris and four others were found guilty of all conspiracy charges under the indictment; the remaining four individuals pled guilty before their cases went to trial. The first defendant was sentenced on October 19, 2004, with sentencing for the final seven defendants scheduled through December 3, 2004. The investigation was conducted jointly with the FBI and U.S. Secret Service.

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.