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Local man indicted for lying to FBI in fraud probe

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A local man was indicted for allegedly lying to FBI agents who were investigating a fraud scheme.

James Parker, 57, of Goodson, located 22 miles north of Springfield, is accused of making false statements to the FBI, which was probing his alleged scheme to defraud a man in Polk County, according to a news release from the office of Tim Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri. While the indictment includes fraud allegations, Don Ledford, spokesman for Garrison’s office, said fraud charges have not been filed.

After a tip from the victim’s son in April, the FBI began investigating allegations that Parker asked for money to release some $22 million in funds he said were held by the U.S. government. An affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint indicates the victim paid Parker more than $130,000 over the course of at least 10 months.

Parker allegedly made the same false claims to the FBI that he did to the victim, including that he had relationships with presidents and other federal officials, according to the release.

On May 10, the FBI interviewed Parker at his home, where agents told him not to ask anyone for money, specifically the Polk County victim, for scams. Parker allegedly asked the victim for another $3,000 — which was granted — the following weekend. The victim’s liquidated assets, such as real estate, were used to pay Parker, according to Garrison’s office.

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