On June 22, Paul Albert Desoteaux, 54, of Edgewater Avenue and Brandi Lou Farthing, 42, of the same address, were charged with stealing more than $19,000 in checks from their 96-year old neighbor.
According to a police report filed by Sgt. Sam Hensley, the Citizens Guaranty Bank contacted the Irvine Police Department concerning a possible forgery of checks. The bank allegedly stated that between May 2, 2022 and June 15, 2022, forty-three checks had been cashed and paid to Paul Descoteaux for the total amount of $19,160.
After contacting the victim, it was determined that several checks had been taken from various check books and at least one complete book was missing. The police report said that the victim told police that she gave three checks to Descoteaux for performing work around her residence.
He was found hiding at 361 Broadway in Irvine. The house is under renovation, and Descoteaux was allegedly employed by the contractor performing the renovations. Police were tipped as to his location. Descoteaux refused to come out for about fifteen minutes, but his Miranda rights were read and he agreed to speak with Sgt. Hensley at the Irvine Police Department. He acknowledged cashing the check but told police that his girlfriend, Brandy Farthing, gave him the checks at different times and they were already filled out and signed. Desoteaux denied having any knowledge of how she got the checks and stated that he never really asked. He told police that he and Farthing had used the money for their drug habit.
Farthing denied any involvement but stated that she had been over to the victim’s residence around the time the checks started being cashed. Both Desoteaux and Farthing signed consents to allow their residence to be searched. Nothing of evidentiary value was located. Farthing and Descoteaux were taken to Three Forks Regional Jail in Beattyville.
He was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, first degree; theft by unlawful taking, greater than $10,000 but less than one million; knowingly exploiting an adult, greater than $300; and burglary 2nd degree.
Farthing was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, first degree; theft by unlawful taking, greater than $10,000 but less than one million; knowingly exploiting an adult, greater than $300.
The victim will have their money returned by the bank, and restitution will be sought from those being charged.