Police say St. George man defrauded 87-year-old man out of $30K

Stock image | Photo by AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A local man was arrested after allegedly stealing more than $30,000 from an older man by altering a bank check given to him years ago and then depositing multiple copies of the draft into his own account over the next three years.

Stock photo.| Photo by
wdstock/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

On Wednesday, 24-year-old Trenton John Roberts was arrested by officers in St. George shortly after 10:30 a.m. and was booked into jail on multiple charges relating to an investigation that was set in motion when officers received a call from an older man reporting multiple checks were forged on his account.

Officers met with the 87-year-old who said he received information that multiple checks had been written out to Roberts and the funds withdrawn from his account, and went on to explain he did not authorize those payments nor did he sign any of the checks.

He went on to tell authorities that he knew Roberts and had helped him out in the past, adding he had written Roberts a check years ago that appeared to have been altered. Somehow, that same check was deposited and re-deposited into the suspect’s checking account multiple times.

Officers also spoke to a representative at the credit union who stated they had reached out to Roberts to discuss the fraudulent checks, but said the suspect had yet to return any of their calls or explain why the checks were deposited into this account.

The credit union also provided officers with copies of the suspect’s bank statements as well as 30 copies of the check made out to Roberts that was altered and then redeposited into the suspect’s account using a mobile deposit app. Officers were able to obtain the IP address and subscriber information that also matched the suspect’s address in St. George.

File photo for illustrative purposes only of a St. George Police officer in Little Valley, Utah, Feb. 9, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

They were able to confirm the address when they observed the suspect’s vehicle parked in front of the residence. Officers made multiple attempts to contact the suspect. During one attempt, they spoke to him over the phone. During the conversation, Roberts agreed to meet with the police, but then failed to show up for the scheduled interview and did not answer any of the officers’ calls thereafter.

On Wednesday, the officer reached out to Roberts who said he did not want to speak to authorities without an attorney present, which is when he was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing 10 third-degree felony counts of forgery.

The following day, Roberts was charged with the 10 forgery counts and the Washington County Attorney’s Office also filed a second-degree felony theft charge.

Roberts was released from jail after posting a bond and is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court June 11.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.  

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact. 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!