SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – A husband and wife in Carthage, Missouri were convicted in federal court today for being involved in a five-year scheme to embezzle more than $ 235,000 from a Joplin business owner , Missouri.
Jeanine A. Poe, 52, and William Poe, 58, were convicted in separate appearances before U.S. District Chief Justice Beth Phillips. Jeanine Poe was sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole. William Poe was sentenced to five years probation. The court also ordered Jeanine and William Poe to pay $ 235,744 in restitution to the victim of their thefts.
On June 30, 2020, Jeanine Poe pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and William Poe pleaded guilty to one count of prison abuse.
Jeanine Poe was hired by a friend in 2014 to run two Doc Stop convenience stores in Joplin, for which she was paid over $ 50,000 per year. The owner had little to do with the businesses, according to court documents, except investing his money in both to ensure their financial success. In 2015, Jeanine Poe told the owner that the businesses were not doing well financially and asked her to invest even more money. The owner has invested a large part of his salary to financially support the businesses.
According to court documents, Jeanine Poe’s criminal activity over a five-year period included hundreds if not thousands of individual cases of theft and fraud.
In October 2019, after businesses continued to lose money, the owner asked a friend to look into the financial affairs of the businesses and learned that Jeanine Poe was embezzling money from her businesses. She had obtained at least seven credit cards on behalf of companies, carried out transactions on credit cards and paid for those transactions with company funds. All credit cards opened by Jeanine Poe had reached their maximum authorized credit limit, and several times were used by Jeanine and William Poe for expenses that were absolutely unrelated to the operation of the business (such as travel and personal expenses). One of the credit cards was in William Poe’s name. The owner also discovered that large sums of money were being fraudulently transferred electronically from his company’s bank account to Jeanine Poe’s personal bank account.
The two convenience stores were intended to become the victim’s pension plan and a source of future income. However, the owner of the business had to file for bankruptcy and lost one of his two businesses due to the embezzlement plan.
William Poe admitted he was aware of his wife’s embezzlement. He covered up these thefts by convincing the owner that his wife was not embezzling funds, even though he knew she was stealing it. Her cover-up allowed Jeanine Poe to continue making fraudulent credit card transactions and withdrawals from commercial accounts.
This case was continued by US Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Carney. He was the subject of an FBI investigation.