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Providence Man Arrested in Antique Gun Fraud Case

Providence Man Arrested in Antique Gun Fraud Case

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PROVIDENCE, Utah (AP) -- A man has been accused of bilking a New York man out of $37,000 for an antique gun.

Lary Nicolds, 37, was arrested Wednesday for communications fraud and theft.

Cache County sheriff's investigators allege Nicolds placed advertisements in the magazine Shooting Sportsman about a raffle for a handmade Wesley Richards gun.

The ad said the raffle would raise money to "provide the hunt of a lifetime" for a person who is terminally ill, Cache County Sheriff's Lt. Matt Bilodeau said.

The New York man reportedly purchased $5,000 worth of raffle tickets but didn't win the gun.

After hearing in November 2003 that someone else had won the raffle, the New York man e-mailed Nicolds and told him he would purchase the gun if the winner was interested in selling it.

Nicolds allegedly returned the New York man's call in February and said the winner of the gun had recently died. He said he was helping the winner's widow sell the gun for $37,000.

The New York man sent Nicolds the money in March but never received the gun or his money back, Bilodeau said.

"We have yet to find the gun," Bilodeau said. "We haven't even seen a picture of it yet."

The ornate gun is described as a Wesley Richards 450 nitro express with a droplock. Police said Nicolds claimed it was made for an Indian prince.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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