Illinois man accused of forgery, theft in Southeast Missouri

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Sparta, Illinois, man is facing forgery and theft charges in Missouri.

John C. Jeffers, 37, is accused of one count of stealing more than $25,000 and 16 counts of forgery between August 2012 and April 2014.

In September, Brad Kueker of Kueker's Nursery near Perryville, Missouri, filed a police report after he discovered several forged checks written from the business' account, according to a probable-cause statement by Perryville police detective Ryan Worthington.

Kueker discovered the checks, plus additional charges from his checking account, after being informed by the IRS his business had not made proper business-tax payments, Worthington wrote. Jeffers, who was Kueker's employee, had been responsible for paying the business' bills.

Kueker's bank accounts showed 11 payments totaling $10,010.03 made to Vanderbilt Mortgage had been paid to Jeffers' account, Worthington wrote.

Twenty payments were made to Jeffers' Verizon Wireless account from Kueker's bank account between Sept. 5, 2012, and April 24, 2014, and totaled $4,483.36, the affidavit said.

Fifteen payments to Jeffers' Ally Financial account from Kueker's bank account between September 2012 and March 2014 totaled $6,722.19, the statement said.

Also, the statement said six payments totaling $1,134.26 were made, four to Jeffers' Capital One credit card account and two to Jamie Jeffers' Capital One account; four payments were made to Wal-Mart to pay Jamie Jeffers' account for a total of $1,616.71; and a web payment of $21.98 to tees4causes.com was made Feb. 27, 2014, from Kueker's US Bank credit card. An investigation into the Capital One payments showed Jamie Jeffers has the email account tees4causes@gmail.com.

Kueker's signature appeared to have been forged on 16 checks -- two to Jamie Jeffers and 14 to John Jeffers -- written from Kueker's account, Worthington wrote. The checks, for amounts ranging from $46.36 to $500, totaled $4,313.32.

The total loss to the business was $28,301.85, the affidavit said. Worthington wrote he confirmed Kueker's accusations by getting investigative subpoenas from Vanderbilt Mortgage, Verizon, Capital One Credit and Ally Financial and from paperwork provided by Wal-Mart.

Jeffers posted $50,000 bond in Perry County in December and was released on his own recognizance. His case transferred to Cape Girardeau County in February on a change of venue.

The forgery charges, which are class C felonies, carry a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. The theft charge, a class B felony, carries a term of five to 15 years in prison.

kwebster@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

Sparta, IL

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