Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
A 19-year-old man charged with 22 charges of forgery after allegedly stealing and cashing his father’s business checks waived his preliminary hearing in magistrate court Wednesday, binding the case over to Chaves County District Court.
According to a criminal complaint by Jacob Sanchez of the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were dispatched to Palacio Street Dec. 8 at about 3:50 p.m. in reference to a report of fraud, forgery and larceny of checks.
Police spoke with Richard Morgan, who stated his 19-year-old son, Jordan L. Morgan, had stolen and cashed checks from his business, Morgan Masonry LLC.
“Mr. Morgan stated he learned about the stolen checks today when he was doing payroll,” Sanchez’s report stated. “As soon as he learned of stolen checks and (that) funds (were) taken out of his business account, he contacted Pioneer Bank and learned there were numerous checks made out by his son, Jordan.”
Authorities said Richard Morgan told police he was uncertain how many checks were stolen, but estimated at least 17 had been taken.
Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to the Roswell Daily Record today.
Support Local Journalism
The father also told police he did not secure his checkbooks at his home as he never thought he would need to.
Jordan Morgan, who lives with Richard Morgan, did know where the checks were located and did have access to them, his father told police.
Authorities said Richard Morgan provided them with all of the stolen check information given to him by Pioneer Bank.
“He stated he learned from the bank that Jordan came through the drive-through sometime Monday morning and cashed a check,” the deputy wrote. “He stated the bank didn’t catch the check being cashed after the account had been red-flagged.
“Then, approximately 15 minutes later, Jordan came back inside the bank to cash another check and that’s when the bank employee notified Jordan he couldn’t cash or deposit his father’s checks.”
Police were told Jordan Morgan then returned the money back to the bank he had previously cashed.
According to the bank’s retail manager, after Jordan Morgan continued to cash or deposit the stolen checks, his account was frozen Dec. 11. The manager told police Jordan had come back later the same day to attempt to deposit another check.
“That’s when he learned his account was frozen,” the report stated. “(The manager) stated she contacted Jordan by phone at approximately 12:30 p.m. Jordan was upset about his account being frozen and he asked why.”
After the manager told Jordan Morgan the checks he had been cashing and depositing did not belong to him, the manager said the 19-year-old apologized and admitted to her he had stolen the checks from his father. The manager advised Jordan Morgan to return the money, in which he returned $488.27 from one check.
Richard Morgan told police that on the day he reached out to his son, Jordan Morgan had confessed to him about stealing his checks.
Richard Morgan then told authorities nine more checks had been stolen. The father told police after he had checked his son’s truck, he found some of the checks in the vehicle’s center console.
The father told police he had to freeze his account and find other ways of funding to manage payroll and bills during the incident.
According to deputy Sanchez’s investigation, 22 checks were located. The total amount cashed and deposited from the checks was $7,093.97. Police said the total amount returned was $1,327.18.
On Dec. 15, Sanchez was invited to Richard Morgan’s residence to speak with his son. Sanchez reassured Jordan Morgan he was not under arrest.
After Jordan Morgan agreed to voluntarily talk with police, the 19-year-old said he stole and cashed the checks because he didn’t have a job, and it was an easy way to get money.
“The first day he contemplated on getting the money because he didn’t want to work for his dad,” the report stated. “After contemplating, he knew his dad’s checkbook was in his office, so (he) stole and wrote himself a check, which included writing the checks to himself and forging his dad’s signature.”
Jordan Morgan told police after he went and cashed the stolen check, he realized the process was straightforward.
“After learning it was easy to do, he would steal his dad’s business checks and cash them as he needed more money,” the report stated. “Jordan was unsure the total amount of money he stole, but he was told about $10,000.”
Police asked Jordan Morgan if he had any remaining cash.
“He stated he only had approximately $200 that he gave back to his parents and (that) the bank took the rest he had in his account and the last check he cashed,” the report stated.
Authorities then questioned Jordan Morgan as to what he had acquired from the money he spent.
“He stated he was surprised himself that he didn’t have much to show for what he had purchased,” Sanchez wrote. “(Jordan) did state he did buy some clothing items or little things he thought he needed, but he mostly spent it on marijuana.
“He stated he had his cannabis card and would buy $50 to $60 of marijuana at a time through the week at Pecos Valley and Compassionate dispensaries.”
Jordan Morgan later told police he understands his actions and knows he needs to find a way to fix it.
“He has applied for jobs since he started the incident and has been doing work around the house to try to pay back his father in some way for what he did wrong,” the deputy wrote.
Jordan Morgan is charged with 22 counts of forgery, all fourth-degree felonies. On Dec. 22, Morgan agreed to the conditions of release set by Magistrate Judge E. J. Fouratt and was released on personal recognizance.
Morgan waived his preliminary examination before Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers Wednesday morning. A court date for Jordan Morgan in Chaves County District Court has not been set.
The case is to be prosecuted by the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s office, while Jordan Morgan is to be represented by public defender Franz Michael von Hoffmann.
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.