joplin business owner indicted for defrauding partner
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Joplin, Mo., woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for embezzling from her former business partner.
Peggy S. Newton, 38, of Joplin, was charged in a 25-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., on Thursday, Feb. 10.
Newton was a partner in Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C., an interior decorating business and retail shop. She handled all of the financial aspects of Evergreen & Amber, while her business partner, identified in the indictment as “D.P.,” contributed all of the financial capital of the business and handled the daily design aspects of the business.
The federal indictment alleges that Newton engaged in a fraud scheme from Sept. 18, 2006, to June 29, 2009. Newton allegedly wrote approximately 393 checks, which were drawn on the business bank account, to make purchases and obtain money for her personal use and to pay for items and services for her personal benefit.
On approximately 500 occasions, the indictment says, Newton used her partner’s personal credit accounts and the credit accounts of Evergreen & Amber to make purchases and obtain money for personal use, and to pay for services for her personal benefit. Newton signed D.P.’s name to the credit authorizations without D.P.’s knowledge or consent on 14 of those occasions, the indictment alleges, and used D.P.’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number to open new credit accounts without D.P.’s knowledge or consent on approximately five occasions.
Newton is charged with 21 counts of wire fraud related to more than $10,000 in credit card transactions for such items as shoes and other clothing, home appliances, veterinary services, dental services, spa services and photographs.
Newton is charged with four counts of counterfeit securities related to four checks, totaling $7,950, on which Newton allegedly forged D.P.’s signature.
Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.