Oregon casino swindled by fake ‘Village People’ rep

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Longtime criminal ordered to pay restitution

The Mill Casino in Coos Bay (Google Street View)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Florida man was sentenced to federal supervised release Tuesday for falsely claiming to represent The Village People band and swindling $12,500 from an Oregon casino.

The District of Oregon’s U.S. Attorney’s Office said the sentence for Howard Harlib incorporates time served in federal prison. Harlib, 67, has been in state custody in Florida since 2016 for an unrelated conviction.

In August of 2015, Harlib was contacted by employees from the Mill Casino in North Bend after they had received a flier advertising the opportunity to book The Village People for a concert. Harlib posed as a representative of the band under a fake entertainment company called “Premier Entertainment,” according to court documents.

Following talks with casino management, Harlib emailed over a fraudulent contract, which the casino signed and returned with a check for $12,500. Harlib cashed the check two days later.

In January 2016, casino staff noticed The Village People were slated to perform in Florida on the same date the band was booked for the Mill Casino. Casino staff were able to reach the official representation of the band who confirmed that Harlib had no affiliation with the group.

Harlib later admitted to having no authority to book the band.

As part of Harlib’s sentencing, he was ordered to pay $12,5000 in restitution to the Coquille Indian Tribe, who operates the Mill Casino.

In 2004, Harlib was convicted of third degree grand theft in Florida for a nearly-identical scheme involving The Temptations, The Supremes, and Jimmie Walker. After spending five years in prison for the fraud conviction, Harlib spent another five years in prison for impersonating a doctor and possessing a variety of prescription medications.

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