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Former Edward Jones trust officer pleads guilty to fraud

January 11, 2012

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that Duane Cook pled guilty to defrauding 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 with 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. Cook spent all of the fraudulently obtained funds on his own personal uses.

DUANE COOK, Florissant, MO, pled guilty to one felony count of mail fraud before United States District Judge Jean C. Hamilton, who set sentencing for April 6, 2012.

Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

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

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