Morrison man pleads guilty to theft, forgery charges

CLINTON — Four felony charges will be dismissed against an Illinois man in exchange for a guilty plea to felony theft and forgery charges.

Jason R. Frederick, 39, of Morrison, Illinois, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court and pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, a Class C felony; and forgery, a Class D felony. The State will recommend a suspended sentence and payment of restitution. Frederick may ask for a deferred judgement. The State will dismiss four counts of forgery at sentencing, with costs assessed to Frederick. Clinton County District Court Judge Stuart Werling found there was a factual basis to support Frederick's guilty plea. Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 6.

According to the affidavit, an officer met Dec. 26 with a representative of Seeser Storage Systems. The representative reported an employee working for the business had been writing checks from the business account without his authorization. The representative gave the officer copies of four checks written to a male. The representative said they only pay bills from invoices they receive in reference to bills. The representative said the four checks had no invoices associated with them. The representative was concerned because a female's signature was on the four checks. The female stated she did not write the checks. The representative believed the only other person who could have done this was Frederick.

The affidavit states that all four checks written to the male were deposited into an account at Triumph Bank in Morrison. An officer ran a search on the male and noticed his address was on the same street as Frederick's. The officer was able to make contact with the male by phone. The male stated he and Frederick were neighbors. The male said Frederick rented a house from him. The male stated Frederick paid for rent with a check from Seeser Storage. The male stated that only happened one time. Frederick after that would go to the bank and deposit the checks directly into the male's account for payment of his monthly rent. Three of the checks written to the male were for $1,150. One check was for $600.

The affidavit continues that an officer contacted Frederick, who agreed to meet with the officer Dec. 27 at the Clinton Police Department. Frederick admitted he wrote the checks to the male from the Seeser Storage Systems account to pay his rent. He admitted to using a computer to generate the female's signature to place on the forged checks. The officer asked Frederick if there were any other checks he had written at the time from the business. Frederick stated he did not think there were any others. He did admit he used a business credit card for his personal use. Frederick estimated he charged $1,000 or $2,000 on the company's credit card. He said he used the credit card to pay his cell phone bill, utilities and other personal bills, including Christmas gifts for his family. Frederick did not have permission to write the checks or use the credit card for his personal expenses.

The affidavit states the officer then contacted the Seeser Storage Systems representative about the credit card use. The representative estimated Frederick charged over $7,000 on the business credit card for his personal use. The representative also found another check written by Frederick to the credit card company for $3,235.19. The check was not authorized by the female but had her signature on the check. The officer made contact with Frederick by phone about the check. He admitted he forged the check to the credit card company to pay for some of the items charged. The total amount of checks written by Frederick was $7,285.19. The amount charged by Frederick to the credit card for his personal use totaled $7,089.90.