Denver-area financiers couldn’t refuse William Destro’s offer: using their investment, he’d buy up properties that were sure to skyrocket in price, and everyone would share in the gains. What Destro didn’t tell his investors – and what eventually got him sentenced to 20 years in prison – was that his company was so unstable there was no way he could live up to his end of the bargain. Before he was busted in 2003, Destro bilked locals – including Broncos defensive back Tyrone Braxton – out of $ 2.4 million over six years.
Amadeus Harlan is the latest in a long line of local scam artists, from make-believe sheiks to fraudulent high-school cheerleaders. Here are some of the not-so-usual suspects: