|Keith Monia is escorted into the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse|
Keith Monia, who is charged with several counts of financial exploitation of the elderly, theft by deceit and forgery, waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday before Judge Robert Barney, who is filling in for Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp.
Monia, represented by assistant public defender Leslie Hazel, requested a reduction in his $30,000 bail and asked it be changed from cash only to cash or surety bond, which would have allowed him to use the services of a bail bondsman. Barney denied both requests.
Monia has been charged with 15 felonies in Cape Girardeau and Scott counties stemming from an investigation into his financial dealings. The transactions date to 2007.
In Cape Girardeau County, Monia is charged with six counts of financial exploitation of the elderly, one count of forgery and one count of theft of property or services in the amount of $25,000 or more.
In most of the cases, Monia is alleged to have taken clients' money, promising to invest it in annuities plans and failing to do so.
In one case, Monia is accused of keeping $7,500 he was supposed to apply toward the purchase of a modular home for a client.
The original criminal case against Monia was filed in April 2013 in Scott County.
In that case, he is accused of taking more than $220,000 from a Scott City couple. He is charged with two counts each of forgery and financial exploitation of the elderly in connection with the case. In August 2013, Judge Scott Horman sent the case from Scott County to Stoddard County on a change of venue, online court records show.
A probable-cause affidavit filed in the case states Monia promised the couple he would invest their money in annuities, but most of it went to Cape Girardeau day trader George Joseph, who told investigators he was running an "investment club" of which Monia at one time had been a member.
Joseph is facing charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the May 30, 2013, shooting deaths of his wife and son.
In June, Wayne County Circuit Judge Kelly W. Parker ordered Monia to pay more than $212,000 to Paul Bollinger, who sued Monia in 2010.
Bollinger alleged Monia took money from him to invest in annuities but instead pocketed the money. Monia later said he believed the money had been a gift.
A state investigation into Monia's activities in late July and early August 2013 led to the Cape Girardeau County charges and three additional financial exploitation charges in Scott County.
Monia remains in custody at the Stoddard County Jail. His next court appearance will be March 9.
Hazel and assistant prosecuting attorney Angel Woodruff declined to comment on the case.
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Monia waives preliminary hearing, will appear again March 9
Man Arrested for Financial Exploitation and Forgery