- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BEND, Ore. (AP) - Two Oregon teenagers face criminal charges after prosecutors say they made thousands of dollars selling fake gold bars and Rolex watches online.

The 17-year-olds from Bend were arrested in March, the Bend Bulletin reported (https://is.gd/AAzVFe).

The teens made nearly $60,000 selling fraudulent 1-ounce (28.35-gram) gold bars, authorities said.

Court documents say the suspects purchased the bars from a Chinese e-commerce site and sold them to Bend residents on Craigslist. The documents show one teen confessed to orchestrating the scheme and using the other teen as a middleman to avoid getting caught.

One victim, coin shop owner Bill Fleming, sold 20 of the fake gold bars before realizing they were copper and plated with only about $1 worth of gold.

He felt relief when he heard Bend Police had made arrests in the case.

“I’ve lost quite a bit of sleep not knowing at first, when we didn’t know if this was a deal where someone was out of town and they were in town just long enough to pull a scam,” he said.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel is asking any potential victims of the scam to come forward.

“Right now I am doing a big push to identify every victim and total the financial damages,” Hummel said.

It is unclear whether the teens will be tried as adults.

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Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com

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