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Former Edward Jones trust officer sentenced for fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2012

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that Duane Cook was sentenced to 21 months in prison for defrauding elderly and incapacitated Edward Jones Trust Company trust clients between May 2006 through June 2011.

According to court documents, Duane Cook was employed as a Trust Specialist and later as an Account Review Officer in the Compliance Division of Edward Jones Trust Company, located in St. Louis County. As a Trust Specialist, he was responsible for administering numerous Edward Jones Trust Company client trusts, including reviewing invoices for those trusts and submitting the invoices for payment. As an Account Review Officer, he was responsible for auditing trust account transactions relative to numerous Edward Jones Trust Company client trusts. On approximately 61 separate occasions between May 2006 and June 2011, Cook submitted false invoices and caused the issuance of Edward Jones Trust Company checks, totaling approximately $188,848 on three different Edward Jones Trust Company clients' trust accounts, all payable to Fever, a sham company Cook set up for this fraudulent activity. Several of the victim trust clients were elderly and incapacitated. Cook spent all of the fraudulently obtained funds on his own personal use. Following discovery of the fraud and completion of their internal investigation, Edward Jones Trust Company fully reimbursed its trust clients’ accounts for the embezzled funds, along with appropriate interest.

DUANE COOK
, Florissant, MO, pled guilty in January to one felony count of mail fraud. He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Jean C. Hamilton. Cook was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $188,848.07 and three years supervised release.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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