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Half-Brother of Oscar Finder Gets Jail Term

November 17, 2001|STEVE BERRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The half-brother of the man who claimed a $50,000 reward for finding 52 stolen Oscar statuettes last year was sentenced Friday to six months in county jail.

John Willie Harris, 55, was given permission by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green to serve the time on work furlough so that he can keep his job.

Green also placed him on three years' probation and ordered him to pay $1,121 in restitution and fines.

Harris was accused of receiving stolen property, because the statuettes were stored in the backyard of his home on West 51st Street, Deputy Dist. Atty. Marc A. Chomel said. Three of the stolen statuettes have never been found.

Lawrence Ledent, 39, of West Covina and Anthony Keith Hart, 39, of La Puente have pleaded no contest to charges for their roles in the theft of 55 statuettes from a loading dock in Bell.

Ledent was sentenced to time served in an unrelated Orange County theft case.

Hart has pleaded no contest to receiving stolen property and is expected to be sentenced to three years' probation next month.

Fifty-two of the statuettes were recovered in March 2000 from a trash bin in Koreatown after Willie Fulgear, 61, Harris' half-brother, told authorities he found them there. Fulgear was never charged in the case, Chomel said.

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