Feds: Pa. scammer claimed to have $1B in Texas oil

August 31, 2012 5:26:57 AM PDT
A Pennsylvania man once convicted in an AIDS treatment scam now faces charges he falsely claimed to control more than $1 billion in Texas oil to defraud investors.

Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment Thursday alleging Richard Harley claimed to have oil reserves estimated at 10 million barrels while soliciting financial backing to extract the oil.

The Shawnee-on-Delaware man is also accused of repeatedly attempting to deposit two fraudulent $500 million checks at various financial institutions so he could borrow against them.

The Pocono Record of Stroudsburg reports Harley previously spent five years in prison for fraud after using bogus "ozone enemas" he claimed could treat AIDS and various other illnesses.

A phone number for Harley couldn't immediately be located. An initial appearance is scheduled for Sept. 6.