An Odessa, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to charges that she defrauded a bank of $924,000 through her family’s used truck dealership.
Susan E. Jones, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. Prosecutors accused her of taking out loans using trucks as collateral, then selling the trucks without telling the bank.
Jones handled banking matters for Transtar Truck Sales Inc. in Bates City, which was owned by her now deceased father and her husband. The dealership bought vehicles from out of state and exported them out of the country, according to court documents.
The dealership frequently took out loans from the Bank of Odessa using vehicles as collateral. But sometime after 2007, prosecutors said, Jones began giving the bank only copies of the vehicle titles instead of the originals. She would then sell the vehicles and keep the proceeds.
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When the FBI examined Jones’ finances, it found that she was spending thousands of dollars gambling at casinos and buying season tickets to Chiefs games. Over two and a half years, Jones and her husband spent more than $17,000 at restaurants and bars and $1,300 on martial arts, paid more than $11,000 to the University of Phoenix and spent nearly $1,000 at the Sands of Kahana Vacation Club in Lahaina, Hawaii. By 2010, Jones and her husband owed $130,000 in credit card debt.
Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will seek a sentence of one year and one day in federal prison for Jones, who will also face a money judgment of $778,000, some of which may already have been repaid.