SPOKANE — A father and son who kept the money but failed to deliver parts they sold over the Internet have been convicted in Spokane of fraud and money laundering.
The verdict was returned Tuesday in federal court against 81-year-old Manfred Simon and 44-year-old Frederick Simon. Both will be sentenced Feb. 10.
The men operated Railway Logistic International. It used an Internet site to sell railway and other industrial parts around the world.
FBI investigators say victims lost nearly $500,000.
Neither of the men testified and their lawyer presented no witnesses during the three-week trial. Among the witnesses were 13 from foreign countries, including Spain, Germany, Kuwait, Mexico and United Arab Emirates.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no bold lede-in:Man found dead in car at Wal-Mart
Police say a man found dead in a car at a north Spokane Wal-Mart died of natural causes.
An employee who saw the man Tuesday morning thought he was sleeping, but when the employee saw the man again Tuesday evening he called police. The man had apparently been living in his car.
Seattle: Fatal crash rips car in two
A fatal car crash in Seattle was so violent it ripped the car in two pieces.
The driver of the speeding car was killed when it crashed about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday on Highway 99 south of the Aurora Bridge.
Debris was spread over a wide area, and the southbound lanes were closed for hours for the crash investigation.
@3. Headline News Briefs 14 no:Port of Seattle raises property tax rates
The Port of Seattle Commission voted to increase the tax it collects from King County property owners by 11 percent to $84 million.
A Seattle newspaper reported the 2009 levy will cost the owner of a $400,000 home about $88 a year.
The port operates shipping facilities in Seattle and Sea-Tac International Airport and has 1,800 employees.
Commissioner John Creighton questioned whether the tax increase was too high, but Commissioner Pat Davis told Tuesday’s meeting this is the time to continue investing, creating jobs and maintaining the waterfront.
Olympia: Tanker truck spills buttermilk
The state Transportation Department says the southbound lanes of I-5 have been reopened through Olympia where a tanker truck crashed and spilled buttermilk.
The truck collided with a pickup truck about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday near exit 105. Only minor injuries were reported.
The crash ruptured a tank and the department estimates about 1,000 gallons of buttermilk spilled.
There was an environmental cleanup but some of the buttermilk — diluted by rain — reached Capitol Lake.
Vancouver, Wash.: Man on trial for killing police dog
A man accused of killing a police dog would be sentenced to life in prison as a “three strikes” offender if he is convicted in Vancouver.
The 39-year-old Brush Prairie man, Ronald J. Chenette, was arrested in October 2007 by SWAT officers. A Vancouver police dog, a 5-year-old German shepherd named Dakota, was shot in the head during the standoff.
The Vancouver Columbian newspaper said that at the trial that started Wednesday the defense lawyer was expected to argue the shooting was self-defense.
The paper says Chenette has two prior strikes for a 1991 murder conviction and a 2001 assault conviction.
Yakima: Man accused in Ponzi scheme
Federal prosecutors say a former Tri-Cities man operated a Ponzi scheme that took money from people by offering to eliminate their debt and restore their credit.
Prosecutors say 34-year-old Jason Paul Christensen paid off a few people but spent much of the money on himself. He is now facing 162 charges of mail fraud and money laundering from a May indictment.
The Tri-City Herald newspaper reported Christensen appeared in federal court Monday in Yakima and was released on $500,000 bond.
Court documents say he had customers in 19 states for the Family Financial Network and five other businesses.
Alaska: Jet makes emergency landing
Alaska Airlines is investigating the cause of an engine problem that led to an emergency landing of one of the newer additions to its fleet.
Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Caroline Boren says one of the plane’s two engines malfunctioned about 30 minutes after takeoff in Anchorage on Tuesday morning. Boren says the crew of the Fairbanks-bound plane idled the engine, and declared an emergency landing as a precaution.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed normally in Anchorage 7:49 a.m. and passengers were put on a 10:05 a.m. flight to Fairbanks.