published Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

’60s Texas swindler Billie Sol Estes dies

GRANBURY, Texas — Texas con man Billie Sol Estes, the colorful 1960s swindler whose case became a national sensation, has died. He was 88.

Hood County Sheriff Roger Deed says Estes was found dead in his home by a caregiver early today.

Estes’ name was synonymous with Texas-sized schemes, greed and corruption. He became notorious in 1962, when he was accused of looting a federal crop subsidy program in a scam involving phony financial statements and non-existent fertilizer tanks. Several lower level agriculture officials resigned.

Along the way he accused fellow Texan Lyndon B. Johnson of numerous crimes.

He was convicted in 1965 of mail fraud and conspiracy and served six years in prison. He was convicted again in 1979 of pulling off another scheme and served four more years.

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