News and Press Releases

osceola man charged with bank fraud, mail theft

crime discovered by following trail of blood from car accident

January 3, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Osceola, Mo., man was charged in federal court today with bank fraud and mail theft after stolen mail was found by a state trooper who followed a trail of blood from a car accident.

            David M. Riili, 32, of Osceola, was charged in a two-count criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo.

            Today’s criminal complaint alleges that Riili stole numerous pieces of mail from many different mailboxes in Lawrence, Stone, Christian and Greene Counties. Riili is also charged with bank fraud related to depositing a number of stolen checks into a bank account.

            According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers were investigating a one-vehicle accident on Missouri Highway 76, near Indian Point Road in Stone County on Sept. 16, 2011. Riili’s vehicle had left the roadway and slid into the woods, where it struck a tree. Riili and a passenger were transported by ambulance.

            A state trooper followed trails of blood from the vehicle into the woods. One of the blood trails led to a pile of leaves. The officer dug through the leaves and discovered an envelope full of checks from Knight Heating, Inc., which were made out to different businesses. The trooper also found a large trash bag that contained stolen mail from different areas throughout southwest Missouri.

            According to the affidavit, federal investigators determined that the mail had been stolen from the mailboxes of the victims. Investigators also learned that Riili deposited seven checks totaling $8,363 into a bank account, the affidavit says, and each of those checks had been stolen from businesses in Springfield, Nixa, Osceola and Bolivar.

            Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint 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. Postal Inspection Service and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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