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HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

If You See Him in Your AA Meeting, Hide Your Checkbook

AA fraudster used meetings to rip off elderly alcoholics.


No longer anonymous Photo via

By Kenneth Garger


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A Colorado crook accused of preying on 22 fellow AA members, many of them elderly, in a devious Ponzi scheme admitted one count of theft after a plea deal. Alcoholic investors in a state noted for its binges entrusted their cash to 72-year-old Richard Mayfield of Larimer County. One alleged victim, William Nies, said he attended the same daily meetings as Mayfield, who then approached him with a "no-risk" investment opportunity. "He invaded the AA fellowship and used the fellowship for his own purpose," said Nies, who now calls Mayfield a "pathological liar." The swindling senior citizen had previously run two companies marketing products to help struggling salespeople: One $99 "solution" was simply a double-sided sheet describing Jesus as the answer. In all, Mayfield hustled together $466,496 from his "investors," including one alleged victim who was over a hundred years old. He will be sentenced at Larimer County Justice center on September 15 and faces up to six years in the slammer, along with a fine of up to half a million dollars.

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