Ore. coin dealer indicted on fraud charges

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say a Tigard, Ore., gold and silver coin dealer accused of taking customers' money but failing to deliver coins has been indicted on 13 counts of mail fraud and wire fraud.

U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton says Lawrence H. Heim's customers lost more than $1.7 million.

The 72-year-old Heim hosted a radio program and operated a website on which he advertised the sale of gold and silver coins through his U.S. Gold and Silver Investments Inc. in Portland.

Thursday's indictment alleges he accepted customers' money via checks sent by mail and through wire transfers but failed to either deliver the coins or provide refunds. Prosecutors say he shut down the website after customers complained to law enforcement in early 2011.