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Maricopa County court takes action vs businessman

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County authorities have appointed a receiver to take custody of the assets of a businessman convicted of fraud.

They say Sherman E. Unkefer III failed to pay up to $7.5 million in court-ordered restitution to his victims.

Unkefer was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1988 for defrauding hundreds of customers of his precious metals and currency business. He was released in 1996 and now lives in Scottsdale.

Unkefer was CEO of North American Coin and Currency from 1978 to 1982.

According to a recently unsealed civil complaint, Unkefer allegedly conspired with others to conceal millions of dollars in assets and avoid paying restitution to more than 1,300 victims.

The complaint filed under Arizona's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization statutes estimates the victims' losses at nearly $18 million.

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