The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 28, 2012

Mayor of Sheldon accused of forging checks totaling $300,000

SHELDON, Mo. — The mayor of Sheldon has been accused of forging checks to himself from an elderly man’s account to the tune of $300,000 over the course of several years.

Robert L. Sewell is charged with Class C felony forgery. Sewell held power of attorney for the man, who is 97 years old, according to a probable-cause affidavit. The checks ranged in amounts from $61 to $50,000.

Robert Moran, president of the Sheldon Board of Aldermen, said that while Sewell has not officially relinquished his duties as mayor of the Vernon County town, the board had a conversation Monday about Moran assuming the mayor’s duties temporarily. The mayoral post does not receive any city salary.

“Based on that conversation, yes, I will assume those responsibilities,” Moran said.

The Board of Aldermen released the following statement through city offices:

“The charges do not involve any actions or duties as an elected official of the city of Sheldon. As such, the city takes no position with respect to the matter.”

Vernon County Sheriff Ron Peckman said Sewell spent less than two hours in custody last week and was released on $5,000 bond.

In July, Peckman met with the man at his care home in reference to the checks, and he stated that the signatures on the checks and several other components of the checks were not his, according to the affidavit. The checks went through First National Bank.

Sewell did not return the Globe’s calls for comment.



Arraignment

ROBERT L. SEWELL is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 10 in Vernon County Circuit Court.

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