Florida Man Friday: Con Man Fakes as Booking Agent for The Village People

There are a few different and recurring kinds of Florida Man stories that we report on including, the Florida Ninja, the Drunk Florida Woman, and the Florida Neighborhood Nudist.  More recently, an aged but timeless tradition has reemerged onto the scene, the Florida Conman.  The conman returned just last month in the form of a treasure hunter who preyed on a drunk sucker at a local bar, costing him and his company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This week, the Florida Conman comes to us with a little bit of that Hollywood lust and pizzaz.  

Back in 2015, the Mill Casino, run by the Coquille Indian Tribe in North Bend, Oregon, received an unsolicited fax containing a flier with what they believed was a once in a lifetime chance.  The Village People LIVE in concert.  The casino representative quickly phoned the number on the flier and inquired about booking.  In what could only be described as a miracle, the booking agent Howard Harlib informed the casino that the beloved group happened to be performing in Las Vegas the night before their requested date, and could be in Orgeon the next night! What're the odds?!

After quickly confirming and signing the necessary papers, the Mill Casino wired over $12,500 to Harlib for the initial booking deposit and he cashed it just 2 days later.  

It wasn't until the day of the event, 5 months later, that the Mill Casino decided it was time to check-in on their investment. Casino officials went over to The Village People website and discovered what they hoped could only be a typo, as the group was scheduled to perform in Florida that evening.  To no surprise, multiple attempts to reach Harlib failed, and so the officials tried to find a contact for the group.  Once in contact, they were informed that The Village People not only do not have a concert booked in Oregon that evening, but no one by the name Howard Harlib had ever been involved with the group.  

Harlib was formally charged back in 2019 for defrauding the Mill Casino and pleaded guilty on Tuesday.  This is not his first crack at becoming a music mogul, as Harlib was convicted of Grand Theft back in 2004 when he claimed to represent the Temptations, the Supremes, and Jimmie Walker to music venues in Florida.  He served 5 years.  Harlib was also convicted shortly after he got out, for impersonating a doctor.  He again served 5 years.  

There is no report on the length of his federal supervision, but he will not be spending any time in jail as he has been in a Florida state prison for over three years and was granted time served.  Harlib must repay the casino the $12,500 initially paid as a deposit.  

Get the full story on today's episode below and all-new episodes Monday-Friday.  Tune into Hard Factor Radio on Sirius XM Power 85, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 11 am EST or anytime on-demand. Your daily dose of News Cocaine.

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