Friday, November 11, 2016

Monia gets 30 years for theft of elderly

Judge Benjamin Lewis sentenced Keith Lars Monia, 55, of Cape Girardeau to 30 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on Tuesday after Monia pleaded guilty to nine counts of financial exploitation of the elderly and stealing by deceit in Cape Girardeau and Scott Counties from 2007 through 2013.

Monia received 15 years on each count, but the five Cape Girardeau County charges and the four Scott County charges were concurrent with each other, pursuant to the plea agreement, Lewis said.

Lewis cautioned if Monia decided to appeal his sentence, he could face the full range of punishment allowed under each count — 165 years total.

Monia pleaded guilty to stealing $517,500 from nine victims.

“If you tunneled into a bank vault and stole that money, you would expect a very serious sentence,” Lewis said. “What you did do was worm your way into the hearts of people, and you knew at the time that you were not going to keep your promise and do what you said you were going to do.”

Lewis said imposing a 30-year sentence on Monia may not stop other people like Monia from stealing money, but at least it will stop Monia from stealing any more money for a long time. 

Monia told several victims in this case he would use their money to invest in American Equity annuity plans, but the money ended up in Monia’s personal bank account or in the hands of George Joseph, who was supposed to invest the money, according to a probable-cause statement filed by Gregrey Martin, an investigator with the Missouri Department of Senior Services.

Paul Bollinger complained to the Missouri Department of Insurance, financial institutions and Professional registration in 2010 when Monia failed to purchase the annuity as he promised and Monia’s insurance producer license was not renewed in 2011.

“He took this money from us when I was suffering from large-cell lymphoma,” Bollinger said at the sentencing hearing. “I took this man on as a friend, and I thought he was a friend, and it didn’t work that way. ... He lost his license, and that did not stop him from selling insurance. ... I would think he would be entitled to the severest penalty he can be given.”

Monia apologized to his victims and offered to give $25,000 of inheritance he received from his father to his victims.

“I had very poor judgment,” Monia said.

Lewis approved an order for Monia to pay restitution on the $517,500 he admitted to stealing.

Assistant public defender Arryn Carson said Monia was under the influence of severe back pain and Xanax at that time.

Monia also was the victim of Joseph, who stole money from Monia’s clients and other clients.

“I say all these things today to show you that Mr. Monia never maliciously took the money,” Carson said.

Full Article & Source:
Monia gets 30 years for theft of elderly

2 comments:

Betty said...

Now we're talking!

Sylvia Rudek said...

I'm impressed. The successful investigation and prosecution started with one person, Paul Bollinger, using the system in place, with no guarantee of any action:

"Paul Bollinger complained to the Missouri Department of Insurance, financial institutions and Professional registration in 2010 when Monia failed to purchase the annuity as he promised and Monia’s insurance producer license was not renewed in 2011."

Great job! to the investigators and prosecutors settling this case with a plea agreement guarantees a conviction, case closed.

Judge Benjamin Lewis's warning to Monia if he tries to appeal his sentence, he could face the full range of punishment allowed under each count — 165 years total.