Va. man faces prison for AIDS-related fraud

LARRY O'DELL
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia man who defrauded investors in a company that he claimed was developing a treatment for the AIDS virus is due in federal court for sentencing.

Michael F. Harris of Luray was convicted in March of bilking investors out of more than $800,000. Sentencing is set for Wednesday in Richmond. Prosecutors suggest a prison term of up to 11 years. Harris is asking for no more than 14 months.

Harris promoted a treatment using hyperbaric chambers, which he said inhibited the HIV/AIDS virus. The chambers are used to treat divers for decompression sickness. Evidence showed that Harris spent most of the investors' money on personal expenses.

One of his victims was a San Diego anesthesiologist who invested $200,000 after contracting the AIDS virus. The man died four weeks later.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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