Jan 26, 2020 7:00 PM

Calif. man cashed stolen tax refund checks in Kansas

Posted Jan 26, 2020 7:00 PM

KANSAS CITY (AP) —A man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison with no parole for participating in a scheme to cash more than $447,000 in stolen tax refund checks.

Dante L. Chestnut, 31, of Ontario, California, pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Chestnut admitted that he and others stole tax refund checks from the mail in April 2016.

They then used driver's licenses and other identification documents to cash the checks at Academy Bank branches in Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, and Colorado, prosecutors said.

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Jan 26, 2020 7:00 PM
Kansas mother pleads guilty in starvation, abuse of child
Francis photo Johnson Co.

OLATHE, KAN. (AP) — A Shawnee woman has pleaded guilty to her role in the starvation of a 5-year-old boy.

Elizabeth Marie Francis, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated criminal sodomy and child abuse, the Johnson County District Attorney's office said.

She and her boyfriend, John Carter, 36, were charged after the child was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital in December 2018. Doctors reported he was bruised and malnourished from starvation, prosecutors said. The hospital staff said the boy had lost 10 pounds since he was taken to the hospital in September 2018. The child was taken into protective custody.

As part of the plea agreement, battery and endangerment charges were dismissed.

Carter has pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse and endangerment. His case is pending in district court.

Francis will be sentenced March 9.