California Company Run by Ex-Con Drops Montana Jail Plan

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - An obscure California company run by an
ex-convict with a history of fraud has dropped its effort to take
over the beleaguered prison in Hardin, days after state officials
launched an investigation.

The project has been dogged by a series of damaging revelations about the company, American Police Force, ever since officials in the rural town of Hardin announced with great fanfare last month that they had secured a $2.6 million deal to fill the jail.

An Associated Press investigation of American Police Force, including the criminal background of its founder, cast serious doubts about the legitimacy of the company, and its jail management proposal quickly spiraled toward its death.

American Police Force had faced a Monday deadline from the Montana attorney general's office to reveal its financial backers. A spokesman for Attorney General Steve Bullock said the demand for information was still pending.

American Police Force spokeswoman Becky Shay said Friday the deal with Hardin had "gone sour" after press revelations about the criminal past of company founder Michael Hilton.

Carrol Realty
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