By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – An El Reno man faces prison after a Yukon police investigation found he allegedly defrauded a Yukon senior citizen of more than $2,500.
Christopher Michael Edwards, 42, was charged Oct. 17 in Canadian County District Court with exploitation of an elderly person by deception and uttering a forged instrument.
The former Yukon resident faces up to 15 years in state prison and fines totaling up to $11,000 if convicted on both felony counts. The case stems from crimes reported July 2-8 in Yukon.
Assistant District Attorney Austin T. Murrey alleges Edwards “knowingly through deception” obtained funds belonging to the elderly Yukon victim “with the intent to permanently deprive (the woman) of the possession of those funds while the defendant stood in a position of trust with the elderly person.”
The defendant and the alleged victim are related, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in district court.
Prosecutors further claim Edwards violated state law by “uttering or publishing as true checks purporting to be issued by Diamond Oilfield Services with the intent to cheat and defraud” when he knew the checks were forged, according to the charging document.
Edwards reportedly worked for the company several years ago.
CHECKS ‘NO GOOD’
Yukon Police Sgt. Joey Rushing on July 14 responded to the fraud call.
The alleged victim told the officer that Edwards “tricked her into cashing two checks for him,” according to the court affidavit signed by Det. Dave Carroll.
Checks of $1,268.58 each were deposited into the woman’s bank account on July 2 and July 8.
Both times, she allegedly provided Edwards with cash “up front” while the checks were being deposited.
The elderly woman thought the checks were valid because they were from Diamond Oilfield Services and she thought Edwards still worked for the company (he had, but not since 2019).
She agreed to cash the checks because he didn’t have a bank account, according to the affidavit.
Det. Carroll contacted the manager of Diamond Oilfield Services, who told him the account number listed on the checks were “no good” and the defendant was not permitted or authorized to make or cash them.
The Yukon police investigator and the alleged victim tried repeatedly to contact Edwards to no avail, court documents indicate.
Canadian County Special Judge Charles Gass issued a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, setting bond at $10,000.