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James Ray 'The Silver King' Houston dead at 66

Reported by: Tom Hawley
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Updated: 11/16/2012 6:28 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- News-3 has learned that a life-long con-man and onetime candidate for Nevada Governor has died.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirms the death of James Ray Houston.

At other times in his life, he went by Sun Ray Star and Rex Rogers. But James Ray Houston was the name all over the media starting in 1974.

He bought commercials on all stations, and full page ads in the newspapers with his plan to make all Nevadans shareholders in a silver based monetary system.

The Review-Journal profiled Houston as a serious third party candidate.

Then the day before the election, the Sun published an expose that Houston was engaged in massive fraud.

Mike O'Callaghan -- already favored -- won easily. Houston disappeared under indictment. He was later captured, but beat the rap...only to face charges in California a few years later.

Houston would float grand plans for get rich schemes, but was shaky with the details. Like the time he returned to Las Vegas in June of 1980 to seek investors in a scam to gather millions of pennies.

"We are limited as far as the information we can give to the press as far as the payoff plan is concerned," Houston told a media conference. "Because the Securites and Exchange Commission are watching very carefully to every word that we say publicly."

Houston had been on the lam in Costa Rica for much of the past decade, but surrendered to authorities last year and was convicted of wire fraud in an international lottery scam.

James Ray Houston - a grifter and would-be governor--died in prison on Terminal Island at age 66.

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