The defendant could get up to 13 years in prison.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A 42-year-old Canfield man whom a prosecutor said bilked an elderly couple out of thousands of dollars, has pleaded guilty to five counts of theft.
Daniel Farah decided to plead moments before his criminal trial was scheduled to begin Monday.
Farah, who is free on a $50,000 bond, is scheduled for sentencing by Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court after a background check by the county adult probation department.
Atty. LuWayne Annos, an assistant county prosecutor, said Farah could get up to 13 years in prison.
Court officials noted that, according to Farah's plea agreement, prosecutor's will recommend he be sentenced to one year if he makes full restitution before sentencing.
Farah took $15,800 from the elderly Vienna Township couple.
Annos said the thefts occurred after Farah met the couple's son in April 2001, when the two were inmates at the Mahoning County Jail.
The couple's son was in the county jail awaiting an appearance in federal court. He is doing time on drug charges.
Farah was in the Mahoning County lockup after being arrested on a charge of receiving stolen property.
When Farah was released, he contacted the couple and told them that if they gave him money, he could get an attorney that would be able to help their son.
Annos said the couple thought the attorney would be able to get their son's sentence reduced.
The couple gave Farah five payments before they contacted authorities.
"I believe the victims are very relieved that this was settled without having to go to trial," Annos said.
Farah was released two years ago from a federal prison after serving two years on a fraud conviction.
Federal court records say Farah bilked an Ashtabula man out of $25,300 by telling him the money was being invested.
Federal prosecutors said Farah was operating his investment fraud by long-distance telephone calls while he was in federal prisons on unrelated fraud convictions.