While white collar crimes can often seem less serious in nature than violent actions such as assault or rape, the truth is that allegations of theft or fraud can also lead to significant jail time if a conviction is ultimately obtained. One former Missouri mayor has been charged with felony fraud stemming from the man’s alleged use of city funds and credit for personal items. He is now facing prosecution for four felony counts of fraud and resigned his post as mayor in July.
According to authorities, the man charged some personal expenses on a credit card that was meant strictly for city use. Their investigation allegedly revealed that the former mayor used that card to charge items such as home appliances and entertaining himself at an area strip club. The man, on the other hand, maintains that the entire situation is just a misunderstanding.
He asserts that he carries a personal credit card that is physically very similar to the city credit card, and he apparently believed that he was using his own personal card to make those controversial charges. A conviction on these felony fraud counts could net the man up to 16 years in prison. His criminal trial will now play out in a St. Louis County courtroom. Considering the serious nature of both the accusations and the potential penalties the man faces, it would likely behoove him to prepare a valid and meaningful defense against these charges.
On the other hand, Missouri residents who are familiar with this fraud case should keep in mind that all defendants are deemed innocent until and only if they are proven guilty. Not every person who is accused of a crime is actually guilty of the accusations they face. Prosecutors have a significant burden of proof to meet, and failing to do so means that an accused individual will be judged not guilty of the charges leveled against them.
Source: ksdk.com, “Ousted Valley Park Mayor Nathan Grellner set for fraud charge hearing,” Oct. 18, 2012