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February 14, 2013

Scam artist sentenced

Ada —  

A man and his accomplices who enticed elderly people to go into their back yards while he posed as a utility company worker, while the accomplices were inside those homes stealing checks out of checkbooks, won’t be doing any more of that for a good  long while.

The district attorney’s office, representing Pontotoc, Seminole and Hughes counties, issued a prepared statement Wednesday afternoon detailing the 40-year sentence that  Sam Quinton Lee, 40, received in district court after pleading guilty to the scam. 

The statement released Tuesday described how Lee and his scam-artist partners set up elderly citizens by stealing their checks.

The checks would then be forged and cashed.

Lee entered a guilty plea during Monday’s jury selection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Welde.

Lee was charged with 10 felony counts related to the scheme. All of the stolen checks were cashed at various Ada banks.

“My office considers the scamming of elderly citizens to be a very serious crime,” District Attorney Chris Ross said in the prepared statement.  “Whether it is a ploy involving fake home improvement or a scheme such as the one employed by this defendant, these crimes deserve significant punishment. 

“Mr. Welde worked very hard on this case, as did Detective Kathi Johnston of the Ada Police Department," the D.A. said. “I commend them both on their effort.  The defendant had a history of preying on the elderly.  After he serves his 40-year sentence, he will have another 30 years of probation.  If he commits more crime, he can receive 30 more years.”

In all, six different checks were stolen, forged  and cashed at various banks in Ada.

 

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