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Man Wanted For Alleged Fraud, Money Laundering Escorted Back To LA From Malaysia

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former Newport Beach resident who fled the country in 1999 arrived at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday after being deported from Malaysia.

The FBI tracked James S. Eberhart, 71, down to Malaysia and worked with authorities there who decided to deport him because his passport had expired, Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Eberhart was accused in a 2002 grand jury indictment of operating YES Entertainment Network Inc., a fake company based in Newport Beach that solicited investors through telemarketers, Mrozek said.

The telemarketers claimed the network would create and maintain an 18-channel, multimedia, family-oriented website, that would include advertising, but 45 percent of the investor money went to the telemarketers and the rest to Eberhart and co-defendant Eugene M. Carriere, Mrozek said.

Eberhart faces 11 counts of mail fraud and nine counts of money laundering.

Carriere, 63, was also a fugitive for six years before authorities tracked him down in Thailand in April 2005, Mrozek said. Carriere pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud in April 2007 and sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay $12.8 million in restitution, according to Mrozek.

Five other defendants, including the owners of the telemarketing businesses, pleaded guilty and received sentences up to 142 months in federal prison, Mrozek said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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