Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guilty plea expected in Peggy Newton fraud, forgery case

The trial date for Joplin businesswoman Peggy Newton has been pushed back to May 25, to give her more time to negotiate a plea deal with the government, according to documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Judge James C. England granted the continuance at Mrs. Newton's request"

It is anticipated that defendant will enter a plea. Plea negotiations between the government and the defendant are ongoing and making progress. Defendant is requesting the additional time to complete plea negotiations with the government.

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, a federal grand jury indicted Mrs. Newton, co-owner of Evergreen and Amber, on 25 counts of fraud and forgery.

The indictment alleged that Mrs. Newton forged the name of her business partner, Diane Pine, setting up numerous credit card accounts, wrote 393 checks for her personal use, wrote four checks to her husband, Newton Jewelers owner Brian Newton "for unauthorized reason", used company money to make one of her husband's car payments, and "altered or falsified" documents to make it appear that payments were less than they actually were, or were to someone else rather than the actual recipient.

On approximately 500 occasions, the indictment says, Mrs. Newton took money from Ms. Pine's personal credit accounts and Evergreen and Amber accounts "for personal use."

According to the indictment:

"It was part of the scheme that on approximately five occasions, Newton used D.P.’s name, date of birth, and Social Security Number to open new credit accounts without D.P.’s knowledge or consent. Newton then incurred charges on these accounts to conduct balance transfers to other accounts, and to cover shortfalls on other bank and credit accounts."

The allegations first came to light when Ms. Pine challenged Mrs. Newton's Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.late last year. Bankruptcy court documents indicate Mrs. Newton claimed she owed $320,358.09 and had only $3,778.85 in assets.

In her challenge to Mrs. Newton's bankruptcy, Ms. Pine claimed her former business partner had "engaged in a pattern of fraud and deceit." Ms. Pine described herself as primarily an absentee partner who spent most of her time working as a registered nurse in Dallas, Texas, though Joplin was her home.

Ms. Pine said Mrs. Newton used company money for various personal reasons, including shopping sprees, paying off her personal debt, paying off her husband's personal loan, tuition for her child to attend College Heights Christian School, and membership in the Millennium Tennis Club.

Ms. Pine filed credit card statements which she claimed show Mrs. Newton paid for vacations, clothing, groceries, and meals with company money or by forging Ms. Pine's signature. The claim also included meals with the statements indicating Mrs. Newton used the credit cards to cover meals at everywhere from Moe's Southwest Grill to McDonald's, Sonic, Burger King, and Fuddrucker's.

In the bankruptcy court documents, Ms. Pine said Mrs. Newton took $108,369.53 in cash from company bank accounts.


Anonymous said...

I can tell you for sure there is not a plea in this case! Mrs. Newton will go to trial unless prosecution dismisses the case! You can speculate all you want Randy!

Anonymous said...

Peggy is my cousin...I have not seen her since I was a child. Peggy you were not raised this way. We all have faults but its never too late to turn around and give it to God. Our Mother's would not be happy at all. I am apalled but I am praying for you and yours.

Still love you!

Anonymous said...

Peggy, what have you learned from all of this?

Don't get caught?

Anonymous said...

It's not speculation on Randy's part about the plea. It was in court records and it was on channel 7 news too.
The court documents say Mrs. Newton's attorneys are working on a plea agreement and wanted more time.

Anonymous said...

Anticipating a guilty plea is not the same thing as Requesting for a continuance...I call that speculation... In this country we are innocent until proven guilty. I speculate this case will be dismissed. Turner report clearly won't pick up the phone and interview her attorney...

Randy said...

All right. Let's try one more time. It is not speculation and you can shout it all you want to. It was Peggy Newton's own attorney who filed the court documents that said a plea deal is working out. I don't need to pick up a phone and call the attorney; the attorney has already put it in the public record. I am sorry if it does not go along with some preconceived notion you may have of PeggY Newton's guilt or innocence.
If all it had been was a request for a continuance, I would have referred to it as such. Her own lawyer listed that reason as why he wanted a continuance.

Anonymous said...

Post a link to that document, so we can see where it says Peggy is pleaing guilty

Randy said...

I can't do that. The page is not accessible unless you have a PACER account and pay eight cents per page to view it. I quoted directly from the document, however.

Anonymous said...

First 2 counts were dismissed bc defense proved Diane pine made those charges to upstairs boutique, many more to be dismissed! Truth will all come out! Peggy newton is a good person ! God Bless Joplin!

Anonymous said...

She already plead guilty see:

She admitted she has been a liar all her life so why should we believe that she is innocent now?

Unknown said...

Hi, everyone. I hope all will be observant without committing trial by publicity. As the classic premise goes, “Every person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.” I do not absolve her either, since I have no authority to do so. A person commits forgery when, with intent to defraud, he or she knowingly makes a false document or alters any document to make it false and that document is apparently capable of defrauding another. If she pleads guilty, let justice be served to her.
Grayson Ford