A local man has been charged with several felonies after an investigation began involving a large sum of money borrowed from a veteran and then bad checks issued to pay the veteran back.

Ryan Saunders, 43, of Potosi, is being charged with a class A felony of financial exploitation of the elderly, a class B felony of receiving stolen property, two class C felonies of receiving stolen property and four class C felonies of passing a bad check.

According to a probable cause statement, Saunders entered into a business agreement with a 64-year-old fully disabled Vietnam War veteran in February of 2014 by borrowing money to start up a business.

Saunders borrowed $203,387 from the victim and agreed to pay him back in full by February of 2015. Saunders wrote several checks to the veteran from different bank accounts that totaled $223,515. The accounts were either closed or nonexistent with all the banks.

Two of the checks, written for $25,000 each on an account from Belgrade State Bank, showed two different business names and were signed by the owner of the account.

It was confirmed by the owner of the account that the signature was not his and it had been forged. The account was closed, but it was determined there was one account holder.

After the officer contacted the man whose name was on the account, he confirmed he didn’t give anyone permission to write checks from his account. 

Saunders was being held in the Washington County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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