HARDIN – Officials in Hardin say they intend to pay more than $1,400 to a California con man for meals and hotel rooms he provided to three city officials as part of his scheme to take over their empty jail.
Michael Hilton — a convicted thief and fraudster from the Santa Ana area — picked up the tab for several meals and the officials’ $250 hotel rooms on the same weekend he convinced them to sign onto his jail proposal.
Hilton had billed himself as a security industry contractor who would fill the jail.
In the wake of the scheme’s collapse, members of Hardin’s Two Rivers economic development authority say they intend to pay Hilton back for their expenses. After meeting Monday, the authority delayed sending the money directly to Hilton because he has several civil judgments pending against him in California for more than $1.1 million.
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