Son-of-Haggard impersonator pleads guilty

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- A Seattle man, who impersonated the son of country music legend Merle Haggard, has pleaded guilty to fraud and identity theft.

Federal prosecutors say Mark G. Sams, while impersonating Noel Haggard, chartered a private jet to Mexico and then charged the $60,000 bill to a Whitefish acquaintance's credit card.

On Sept. 25, the 50-year-old Sams pleaded guilty in Missoula to federal charges of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy will sentence Sams on Jan. 9.

He could send Sams to prison for up to 10 years and order him to pay up to $250,000 in fines.

A conviction for aggravated identity theft comes with a minimum two years imprisonment, consecutive to any other sentence.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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