Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Springfield woman pleads guilty in $266,000 theft from Greene County Jail

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)

A Springfield, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to her role in a conspiracy that illegally diverted more than $266,000 from the commissary account at the Greene County Jail.

Terri Ann Moses, 47, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to participating in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

In October 2011, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department discovered numerous unauthorized debits on its commissary account. A review of the commissary account records showed that there were 731 unauthorized transactions from March 2010 to October 2011 with an approximate loss of $266,423. These transactions were conducted by telephone and over the Internet.

Moses and co-defendant Michaela Sheree Ruble, also known as “Boo,” 33, of Springfield, recruited as many as 175 financially distressed persons by offering to pay their bills in exchange for a payment of 50 percent of each individual bill. Ruble and Moses then diverted funds from the jail’s commissary account to pay those bills.

The commissary account was set up to handle monies earned by Greene County Jail inmates as well as expenses incurred transporting and bonding inmates out of jail. When an inmate was released from the Greene County Jail, the inmate was given a check written from the commissary account for any remaining balance held on the inmate’s books at the time of his/her release. The physical check written against the commissary account included the account’s routing and account number. Ruble was housed in the Greene County Jail in 2011, during the time inmates received a physical check.

Moses admitted that she used the jail’s commissary account without authorization to pay her personal bills and conspired with others to pay bills for profit. The loss amount attributable to Moses is $47,372.

Co-defendants Christine Marie Ash, 46, and Tia Lee Marble, 34, both of Springfield, collected money and gave it to Ruble and Moses. Ruble and Moses paid the bills of Ash and Marble in exchange for their participation in the conspiracy.

Ruble, Ash and Marble have also pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. Ruble was sentenced to four years in federal prison without parole. Ash and Marble were each sentenced to a year and a day, and all three co-defendants were ordered to pay restitution. A sentencing hearing for Moses 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 Abram McGull, II. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

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