Cabbie gets 8 years for swindling $640,000 from customer

Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | 1:56 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — A former cabbie who befriended a wealthy customer and then embezzled $640,000 from him has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Ringling Dan Cohn was sentenced on Monday in federal court after pleading guilty March 13 to four counts of bank fraud. Cohn was indicted in 2007 on 15 counts, alleging he manipulated Griffith Coombs into giving him control of his financial affairs.

The indictment accused the 57-year-old Cohn of tapping various accounts of the elderly antiques dealer to make expensive purchases and gamble. Prosecutors said Cohn and his girlfriend ran up $150,000 in gambling losses.

In 2003, Coombs started living in a nursing home due to poor health, and a year later, Cohn moved him into his house. A year later, Coombs was found bedridden and dehydrated and living in filth in Cohn's basement.

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