Fugitives Guilty of Stealing $11 Million From Disabled Vets Captured
POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Oklahoma – A New Mexico couple who pleaded guilty to stealing millions from the elderly and disabled veterans were caught in Shawnee after weeks of fleeing the law.
Susan and William Harris and two others ran Ayudando Guardians, Inc., a financial services company with disabled, elderly and military veteran clients from New Mexico and Arizona.
All four pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing about $11 million of their client’s money over several years. Court documents alleged they spent the stolen money on extravagant items like expensive cars, Caribbean vacations, even Final Four basketball tickets.
Under the plea deal, 58-year-old William would have been sentenced to seven years in prison, and 73-year-old Susan would have gotten 30 years.
But the two fled before their sentencing.
Six weeks later, they were tracked to a home on North Philadelphia Avenue in Shawnee.
The couple’s chihuahua helped give their location away.
“Even though we had seen someone kind of walking around, having hoodies on and et cetera when they let their dog out to go to the bathroom and their dog ran back in, that was pretty much the positive ID there,” said Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth.
The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the U.S. Marshals, Shawnee Police Department and other local agencies, caught the couple without a fight Wednesday.
Now, the two will be extradited back to New Mexico for sentencing.
“I don’t care who they are and I don’t care how old they are, it doesn’t matter to me,” Booth said. “They’re criminals and they need to be brought to justice.”
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