Thursday, March 01, 2007

Nigerian Scam Yields Strange Results

State v. Reynolds, No. 06-0344 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2007)

This case answers the question "Who in the heck is 'tessy4love00' and why is she sending me money?"

Reynolds took six postal money orders for $950 each to the US bank. An employee told him that they were suspicious looking and would be held, and Reynolds returned an hour later, retrieved the money orders and deposited them at the Central States bank in Muscatine. Reynolds took $5,600 in cash. Reynolds deposited $2000 in his US Bank account and was again advised that the money orders were part of a scam. A few days later Reynolds deposited another group of money orders at CSB. A month later Reynolds cashed two Travelers Express money orders, all at CSB.

It was determined that the money orders were all counterfeit and Reynolds was arrested.

Reynolds explained that he had an online relationship with someone called 'tessy4love00' and that the arrangement was that this person would send him money orders, he was to cash them, and send the money to her so she could come to the United States. He never did.

Reynolds was tried and convicted of theft and forgery and sentenced to prison.

Reynolds objected to the admission of bank records and testimony of a bank employee under the hearsay rule, and this formed the basis of his appeal.

The court found that both records and testimony were acceptable as evidence under the business records exception to the hearsay rule and affirmed the trial court conviction.

As a point of information, a peek at Mr. Reynolds' file in Muscatine County reveals an extraordinarily litigious man with numerous attempts at prosecution that resulted in dismissals.

They got you on the one that mattered, Brian. Welcome to felony country.


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