Carthage Couple Pleads Guilty to Embezzling From Joplin Businesses

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The following is a release from Missouri’s Western District Attorney’s Office:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Carthage, Missouri, husband and wife have pleaded guilty in federal court to their involvement in a four-year-long scheme to embezzle from a Joplin, Missouri, business owner.

Jeanine A. Poe, 51, and William Poe, 57, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Tuesday, June 30, in separate but related cases. Jeanine Poe pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. William Poe pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony.

Jeanine Poe was hired to manage two Doc Stop convenience stores in Joplin. The owner had little to do with the businesses, according to the plea agreements, except to invest his money into both to ensure their financial success. In 2015, Jeanine Poe told the owner the businesses weren’t doing well financially and asked him to invest even more money. The owner invested much of his salary to financially support the businesses.

In October 2019, after the businesses continued to lose money, the owner asked a friend to review the financial affairs of the businesses and learned that Jeanine Poe was embezzling money from his businesses. She had obtained at least seven credit cards in the name of the businesses, conducted transactions on the credit cards, and paid for such transactions with funds from the businesses. All of the credit cards opened by Jeanine Poe had reached their maximum allowable credit limit, and many times were used by Jeanine and William Poe for expenses that were entirely unrelated to the operation of the businesses (such as trips and personal expenses). One of the credit cards was in William Poe’s name. The owner also discovered that large amounts of cash were being fraudulently electronically transferred from his businesses’ bank account to Jeanine Poe’s personal bank account.

William Poe admitted that he was aware of his wife’s embezzlement. He concealed these thefts by convincing the owner his wife was not embezzling, when he knew she was stealing from him. His concealment allowed Jeanine Poe to continue to conduct fraudulent credit card transactions and withdrawals from the business accounts.

Under federal statutes, Jeanine Poe is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. William Poe is subject to a sentence of up to three years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the FBI.

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