The owner of a longtime Olathe barbecue restaurant pleaded guilty Thursday to going on a spending spree with customers’ credit cards, and other financial crimes.
Matthew R. Sander, owner of Smokin’ Joe’s Bar-B-Q, pleaded guilty in Johnson County District Court to seven counts of identity theft, four counts of theft and one count of criminal use of a credit card.
Since last December, prosecutors had filed four separate cases against Sander, charging him with 10 counts of identity theft, four counts of criminal use of a credit card, two counts of felony theft and eight counts of misdemeanor theft.
One of those cases was dismissed as part of Thursday’s plea agreement, which calls for Sander to serve a year in prison and make full restitution to all of his victims.
Assistant District Attorney Alex Scott said two of the cases Sander pleaded guilty to Thursday involved credit cards customers had inadvertently left behind at the landmark restaurant on Santa Fe Street in Olathe.
Sander went on spending sprees using those cards at businesses throughout Johnson County.
The third case involved the theft of a woman’s purse from her seat at a restaurant bar in Overland Park and the use of her debit card to make unauthorized purchases.
In each of those cases, Sander was seen on surveillance cameras using the cards at a number of businesses.
He is free on bond pending a sentencing hearing on Jan. 9.