St. George businessman charged with bilking victims out of $725K
SALT LAKE CITY — A St. George businessman is facing federal charges for allegedly defrauding clients out of more than $700,000.
Christopher C. Harris was charged with three counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one count of willful failure to file taxes in an indictment filed in U.S. District Court Wednesday. Harris apparently owned a commodities company, Revolution Holdings Inc., that obtained and shipped all kinds of items.
Between July 2008 and July 2009, Harris found two potential customers, DJD Internaional Solutions LLC, and American Quality Importers LLC, that were trying to purchase large amounts of cement, the indictment states. Harris told the companies that he owned a large amount of cement and had delivered cement in large amounts before "when, in fact, he had not," prosecutors wrote.
"Through the scheme, defendant Harris defrauded victims of approximately $725,000," the indictment states.
The three counts of wire fraud accuse Harris of having the two companies send him money for the cement he did not have as well as sending one of the companies a fraudulent letter from a supposed bank stating he and his company could handle commodities transactions.
The money laundering charges were filed because Harris allegedly used the funds he gained through the fraud to put a $350,000 down payment on a home and purchase a boat for more than $125,000, according to the indictment. He is also accused of failing to file a tax return for the 2008 calendar year.
Harris faces up to 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud and up to 10 years in prison for the money laundering counts. He could face up to a year in prison for failing to file a tax return.
Prosecutors will also seek to have a judge order Harris to repay the $725,000, if convicted.
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