Waynoka man charged with taking money from charity
March 7, 2021
A Waynoka man has been charged with obtaining $800 from a charitable organization by false pretenses.
Court records show on Jan. 4, Debra Rankin told Waynoka Police Officer Dennis Kilmer of a check fraud case involving a local charitable organization named “Community Sunshiner Dinner.” Rankin said approximately five to six years ago she was asked to be in charge of this organization through her work with 4-H children. Rankin said previously Deborah Bowers had been in charge of the organization.
The organization collected donations in the form of funds to be used once a year in November to provide a free meal to elderly Waynoka residents. The organization had a bank account set up with First State Bank in Waynoka which was merged in 2018 with Corebank. Rankin is the only individual authorized to sign bank checks for the organization.
Rankin told Kilmer that on Jan. 1 and 4, she was notified by Myka Seiger of Corebank about suspected fraudulent activity with the charitable organization’s bank account. Seiger stated Corebank had received two of the Community Sunshiner Dinner account checks dated Dec. 28, 2020, and made payable to Jake Bowers with his signature endorsing the checks.
Check #2032 in the amount of $300 had been submitted twice and paid twice, once processed through the bank and once submitted electronically. Check #2039 for $200 had been submitted once and paid once. A total of $800 was deducted from the organization’s account. Rankin did not authorize or sign any of the organization’s checks to Jake Bowers. Rankin stated the check numbers were older checks, and these number sequences had not been used for several years.
On Feb. 10, Officer Kilmer conducted a limited background check on Jake Bowers, locating a criminal history record. On July 20, 2018, Bowers had pled guilty to one count of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual image in Garfield County and received a two-year deferred sentence. On Jan. 15, 2021, a Garfield County Bench Warrant was issued for Bowers on an application to revoke in the case with a $25,000 bond, and it is still outstanding.
Kilmer also located a Woods County Case where Bowers was charged with one count of petit larceny on Oct. 13, 2019, and this case is still awaiting further judicial actions.
Kilmer reviewed the two checks and compared Jake Bowers’ handwritten name on the checks with a Woods County Jail book-in sheet where Bowers had printed and signed his name. They appeared to be the same as on the checks according to Kilmer.
Officer Kilmer states that he made numerous attempts and had been unable to contact Bowers.
William Jake Bowers, 29, of Waynoka, has been charged with three felony counts of obtain contribution for charity by false pretenses. Each of these is punishable by imprisonment up to three years or up to one year in the county jail or by a fine up to three times the value of the money or property obtained, or both.
A felony warrant has been issued for Bowers’ arrest.