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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis-area fire chief is facing federal indictment for allegedly stealing more than $140,000 in money from the impoverished fire district.

The indictment of Kinloch Fire Protection District chief Darran Kelley was announced Thursday. Federal prosecutors allege he stole money from taxes, grant funds intended for a new pumper truck and donations that were aimed at helping the district keep the truck.

He is also accused of falsely claiming disability.

The district went out of service in December.

Kelley appeared in federal court late Thursday and was ordered to spend the night in jail.

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - People who fraudulently sign petitions for ballot initiatives could face stiffer penalties under legislation passed by the Missouri Senate.

 

Senators voted 30-3 Thursday for a bill that would make petition signature fraud a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of between $1,000 and $25,000.

 

Violators currently can face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

 

The legislation now goes to the House.

 

The proposed criminal charges also could cover petition circulators who use trickery to obtain signatures or who knowingly submit forms with false signatures.

 

Charges also could be filed against those who hire petition circulators and should have known that the circulators were committing fraud.

 

Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Schnucks grocery store chain says it's found the source of a credit card fraud problem that has victimized dozens of people.

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In a news release Saturday, Schnucks Markets Inc. announced that the computer forensic firm it hired discovered that a computer code was recording customers' credit and debit card numbers. The suburban St. Louis-based grocery says it's taken "comprehensive measures" designed to block further access.

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CEO Scott Schnuck described what happened as a "cyberattack" and says the company is cooperating with authorities.

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The chain learned March 15th that some customers had noticed unauthorized charges for credit cards they used at Schnucks. Shoppers were encouraged to pay with cash or checks until the fraud problem was resolved.

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Authorities said many of the unauthorized charges were at out-of-state big box stores.

 

Published in Local News
A former St. Louis treasury employee could spend 20 years in prison for stealing nearly a quarter-million dollars from a failed charter school and collecting $175,000 in salary for a phantom job.

Tuesday, a federal jury convicted 71 year old Fred Robinson of all charges, including wire fraud and federal program theft.

Robinson's crimes were discovered during a federal investigation of former city treasurer Larry Williams' office. Williams hasn't been charged with any crimes.

Robinson will be sentenced in July.

His attorneys say he will appeal.
Published in Local News
Monday, 11 March 2013 11:56

Illinois settles SEC fraud case

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The federal government is charging Illinois with securities fraud, claiming it misled investors about the health of its pension system.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office said Monday that the state has agreed to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission case. Assistant budget director Abdon Pallasch (AB'-dun PAL-lish) says the state is promising better financial disclosures but admitted no wrongdoing.

The case revolved around more than $2 billion of municipal bonds sold from 2005 to early 2009 to pay state obligations to public-employee pension programs.

The SEC charged that the state did not adequately inform investors that a 50-year funding plan adopted in 1995 did not adequately cover pension liabilities.

The five pensions systems are now $97 billion in debt and a solution is lawmakers' top priority.
Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - An appraisal of land purchased by the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis suggests that the museum overpaid by about $615,000.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the appraisal was released Tuesday.

The museum purchased the land from former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. in 2006, paying Bosley and a business partner $875,000. The appraisal determined the land's value at about $260,000 at the time, and about $215,000 now.

The land was also contaminated, requiring up to $300,000 for environmental cleanup.

Robert Archibald resigned as museum president in December, though both he and Bosley denied that personal or political connections played a role in the deal.
Published in Local News
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