Game over for phony Bronco Amadeus Harlan

Amadeus Harlan lived life like the Bronco player he claimed he was -- driving fast cars, wooing ladies left and right, even setting up a community sports company based around his gridiron glory. Too bad it was all a lie, as Westword described in the January 2008 feature "Pro and Con" -- and that lie finally caught up with him.

Last week a Jefferson County jury convicted him of identity theft and aggravated motor vehicle theft for using the name and social security number of a woman who'd applied for a job with his start-up company, Harlan21, to purchase a Nissan Maxima in September 2007.

That came on the heels of a Denver conviction for writing $90,000 in bad payroll checks to Harlan21 employees, since the business was phony. The forty-year old could be facing up to 72 years in prison -- meaning he won't be going for the glory at Invesco anytime soon.

The penalties are stiff because Harlan's a habitual offender. His record goes back to a second-degree murder conviction when he was fifteen, a crime he swears he didn't commit. Whether or not he did, when he got out of prison in 1991 he had a penchant for scams -- and the perfect made-up Bronco persona to get what he wanted. For years, he was in and out of jail for fooling people out of high-priced cars, motorcycles and thousands of dollars. He upped the ante in 2007 when he started Harlan21, a sports tournament company, hired a bunch of people and even leased a $2.5 million former YMCA building at 3540 East 31st Avenue. But the company never really held any tournaments in the few months it was open -- and nobody ever got paid.

Eventually the authorities caught wind of what was going on, arresting him in December 2007 for violating his parole. Then, after a serving a six-month prison sentence for that violation, Harlan was transferred to Larimer County for a stint in the clinker for auto theft. Now he's facing more time in Denver and Jefferson County.

Harlan always wanted to be chauffeured around like a big shot -- though probably not like this.

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