BEND, OR -- Two Bend teens accused of scamming multiple victims with a fake gold bar scheme have been sentenced in juvenile court. The 17-year-olds were arrested in March. The Deschutes County District Attorney says the victims received payment in full for their losses. Because the case was resolved in juvenile court, sentencing details are not available.
Hundreds of the gold bars were sold and resold as the real thing, unbeknownst to the victims. The scam was uncovered by Bill Fleming Coin and Jewelry in Bend, which tested the bars and discovered they were fake. D.A. John Hummel says the Flemings immediately contacted customers and provided refunds, putting them "in a significant financial hole." Thursday, the store received $44,400 in restitution. "Bill and Michelle Fleming are the type of business people that make Deschutes County proud," Hummel said in a statement. "Bill Fleming Coin and Jewelry harkens back to a day when deals were sealed by handshakes and businesses stood behind their products. There are still businesses like this in our community and Fleming Coin and Jewelry is a shining example."