Natrona County Man Arrested for Forging Estimated $20K in Checks
The Natrona County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man for allegedly forging 35 checks on an elderly woman's account and siphoning over $15,000 from her over the course of a year.
Roy Davis, 45, was booked into jail on recommended charges of abuse of a vulnerable adult as well as 35 counts of forgery.
During Davis's initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Wednesday, he was charged with two felony counts, though authorities say the case is still being investigated and the other counts will likely be formally charged against Davis at a later date.
Bond was set at $75,000 cash or surety. Davis was in custody at the time of his court hearing.
According to the affidavit filed in the case, the matter was assigned to an investigator on Jan. 16. The reporting party -- a son of the alleged victim -- said he had recently taken over power of attorney responsibilities for his elderly mother.
While reviewing her checkbooks and account balances, the son came across 35 checks that had apparently been signed by someone besides his mother. The checks had been endorsed to Davis or his wife, Cynthia, who is the victim's youngest daughter.
The 35 checks, the victim's son told authorities, totaled roughly $19,900.
On Tuesday, the victim told an investigator that Davis had married her daughter, Cynthia, in 2015. Afterward, the pair moved into the victim's house to care for her and her dying husband, who has since passed away. Following the husband's death, the Davises continued caring for the victim.
The victim said she did not sign any of the 35 checks in question, nor did she authorize Davis to write any of the checks.
Later Tuesday, the investigator interviewed Davis, who reportedly admitted that he and his wife had accrued a large amount of debt when they were married in 2015.
Davis also admitted to having a substantial gambling problem -- which he tried to hide from his wife -- and being unemployed. He said his wife, Cynthia, was the only source of income in their household, other than VA benefits the victim collected on behalf of her deceased husband.
Davis reportedly said that roughly one year prior to the interview, he had lied to his wife and lost roughly $9,000 due to gambling. He told his wife he would pay their monthly bills in cash, but instead was using the money to fund his gambling.
Because he had lied about paying the bills, Davis allegedly said, he took his mother-in-law's checkbooks out of her nightstand and wrote checks to himself, then used the money to pay the minimum amount due on his bill, thus hiding his gambling debt from his wife.
Davis allegedly admitted to endorsing each of the 35 checks to himself or his wife. He also admitted that while some of the money went to paying bills, some of would go "into [his] pocket," according to the affidavit.
Cynthia Davis told the investigator that she, nor her husband, had permission to use her mother's checkbooks. She said she knew of one of her husband's gambling debts in the amount of $1,500.
The checks in question date back to Dec. 5, 2016, with amounts varying from $40 to $1,900, according to court documents.
Roy Davis had also told the investigator that in December 2017, he received a $55,000 settlement from a lawsuit. Upon receiving that money, he purchased a four-wheeler, trailer, and paid off a loan of $10,000. He estimated he had about $5,000 remaining from the settlement.
The victim had told the investigator that all the forged checks came from an account which she had set up per instructions by the Veterans Administration, in order to collect benefits following her late husband's death.
In that account alone, the investigator identified $15,590 that Roy Davis had taken without permission. As of Wednesday, the investigator was still waiting on further account history from a credit union in connection with the victim's other bank accounts.