A Southeast Texas man convicted of defrauding an elderly woman has been sentenced to ten years in prison.

Bryson Cendejas, 27, of Groves, was sentenced this week before Criminal District Judge John Stevens after prosecutors say he ripped off an 84-year-old California woman who had consigned gold and platinum coins to him for resale.

According to a news release from the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, in April 2010 the victim contacted Cendejas, who was doing business as Golden Triangle Associates in Nederland , in reference to selling her gold and platinum coin collection. She sent the collection (which he originally informed her was valued at one million dollars) to Cendejas, but only received a payment of $16,549.00 from the sale of 18 coins out of the 210 she had originally sent. He eventually stopped communicating with her and failed to return the remainder of the coins, which have yet to be recovered.

Cendejas was indicted in April 2012, but managed to avoid capture for until June of this year. He was arrested when deputies followed up on a Crime Stoppers lead and checked an address in the 2700 block of Montrose in Groves. He was found hiding in the residence under a pile of clothes.

"This case sends two equally important messages. One, that theft as a whole and especially taking advantage of the elderly will not be tolerated in Jefferson County, and two, that people should be very cautious of scams and people who are looking to take advantage of others, especially those who are vulnerable during the holiday season," said Prosecutor Lindsey Scott.