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2 accused of defrauding elderly person out of nearly $300K

Photos of James Black (left) and Tyler Harris.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two men have been charged for allegedly deceiving an elderly person out of nearly $300,000.

James Black and Tyler Harris are accused of trying to defraud a Holland homeowner out of $298,000 through a fake home repair scheme. Authorities say the homeowner hired Black under the name Jim Gribble to do a roof repair, and then the defendants persuaded them to pay thousands to repair fake problems related to the project.

On Wednesday, the men were indicted for conspiracy to commit a wire fraud, and Harris was indicted on a separate charge of welfare fraud. Harris has been arrested on the charge, but authorities are searching for Black.

Anyone who thinks they may have dealt with either man and are a fraud victim is asked to call Homeland Security Investigations at 616-235-3936 or the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 616-808-2034.

Homeland Security Investigations is also seeking tips to locate Black.

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