ILNews

Bad check in exchange for loan leads to conviction

Marilyn Odendahl
September 20, 2013
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A woman who got bail money from a friend by giving him a bad check failed to prove she did not purposely mislead and deceive him.

Linda Neese was convicted of one count Class A misdemeanor check deception after she failed to make any payment on a bad check she issued to her friend, Thomas Reed. She had given Reed a check for $2,500 in exchange for cash so she could bail her son out of jail.

At that time, Neese told Reed she would not have the funds in her checking account to cover the check for another four months. Reed attempted to cash the check before the four months had ended but was told by Neese’s bank that her account was closed.

During her trial, Neese presented evidence that Reed knew there was insufficient funds to cover the check.

A unanimous Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction in Linda M. Neese v. State of Indiana, 41A01-1303-CR-138. The court found Neese did not meet the burden of proving her affirmative defense.

Although Reed had been told not to cash the check before April 15, 2011, he was led to believe the account until then would have insufficient funds. Neese did not tell Reed the check would not be honored because her accounted had been closed.

The Court of Appeals held the reasonable inference from those facts is that Neese knowingly issued the check on a closed account. She failed to show she shared that knowledge with Reed so he was not misled, deceived or defrauded by her.

“Where, as here, the payor cannot establish by preponderance of evidence that the payee know that the payor has insufficient funds to ensure payment of the check and that the check was not honored upon presentment for that reason, the affirmative defense has not been proven,” Judge Terry Crone wrote.

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