On Thursday May 1, 2014 Jeanne Reeves, a 43 year old Astoria resident, was indicted by the Clatsop County Grand Jury for Aggravated theft in the first degree, Theft in the first degree and Laundering a monetary instrument. This indictment ends an eight month investigation into financial activities by Reeves.
On October 31, 2013 Astoria Police were notified that Reeves cashed an $85,051.29 check that was reported to be from a law firm in Calgary Alberta. Due to a failure of internal controls at the bank Reeves was allowed access to the money prior to the check clearing.
The investigation revealed that Reeves obtained the check through someone she met on Facebook and had not met in person. The person who sent Reeves the check was referred to repeatedly by Reeves as her fiancé. Reeves is married. Through the investigation officers were able to establish that Reeves knew that the check was not legitimate. The bank also had Reeves sign a Foreign Collection Receipt that showed Reeves knew she had only been given provisional credit and was liable for the amount received. The bank attempted to collect on the funds but Reeves had withdrawn or spent most of the money. Reeves did not provide documents to the bank that she had previously offered to assist in the investigation.
As part of the investigation Astoria Police worked with the Calgary Police Department to determine the check was a duplicate check number issued by the Calgary law firm. It appeared to be a complete forgery.
This case appears to have begun as what is commonly referred to as a Nigerian scheme. A subject sends a large check with the agreement that you send a smaller amount to the sender of the check. The balance is to be kept by the person who is the target of the scam. These checks are almost always forgeries. In this case, it appears that Reeves, knowing that this was a scam furthered the criminal effort without sending any money to the original perpetrator. She was the sole beneficiary of the funds from the forged check.
Reeves is scheduled to be arraigned. Court records were unavailable to give the date of her arraignment.