• December 21, 2014

Suspect: Charge is bogus

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Posted: Friday, December 17, 2004 12:00 pm | Updated: 3:13 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Jimmie Ferguson

Killeen Daily Herald

The 40-year-old Killeen woman being sought by Killeen police on a forgery charge said the charge is bogus, as she turned herself in to police Thursday.

"The charge is totally, totally incorrect," said Priscilla Ann Ellis, aka Priscilla Johnson, who was released Thursday on a $50,000 bond set by Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke on a charge of forgery.

Ellis said she had been in Hawaii since Dec. 8 and flew back to Killeen after her daughter informed her that the police were looking for her.

"The only reason why Detective (Jon) Holman went to pursue charges was because he didn't believe me when I told him I was out of town," Ellis said. "I guess he is just used to people lying to him.

"I have nowhere to go. I have been in business here for 12 years," Ellis said. "I give scholarship to the kids. I sat on the board of directors for Rotary. I have no reason to sit and lie about being in trouble about something.

"They shouldn't take something and assume, because what this has done is slandered my name, slandered my business and my customers are going to be thinking that I ran around and forged a check with someone," Ellis said. "When in all actuality, I'm the victim here. They got me all on the news armed and dangerous. They got me weighing 200 pounds when I weigh only 135 and I'm 5-foot-6 inches tall rather than 5-foot-8."

Ellis said she voiced her opinion to KPD Chief Dennis Baldwin and Killeen Mayor Maureen Jouett.

Killeen police Capt. Jackie Dunn said Thursday that this could have been all avoided if Ellis had done what his investigator advised her to do while she was in Hawaii go to a police station there and have the police teletype KPD verifying that she was in Hawaii.

"I can't go into details, but I can tell you that the case was screened by the Bell County District Attorney's Office, and a complaint was filed against Ms. Ellis for forgery," said Dunn, who head KPD's Criminal Investigation Division. "And before we did anything, we advised Ms. Ellis Wednesday that she had a warrant. She could have made arrangements to have an attorney and came in."

Dunn said there's more to this investigation than has been revealed. He said the investigation has been ongoing for several weeks.

"She was given the opportunity on lots of attempts...not just by us...but other agencies tried talking to her, but she was never available," Dunn said.

While Ellis says the arrest warrant was about a fraudulent $19,500 check given her by one of her customers, the arrest affidavit states something completely different.

According to the arrest affidavit, a bank teller at the Union State Bank in Killeen told police that on July 1, 2004, a woman she identified as Ellis entered the bank and attempted to cash a check in the amount of $41,350, drawn on the Wells Fargo checking account of Berkeley Farms of Hayward, Calif., and made payable to Cellular Link Corp. The check number 01423854 was allegedly authorized June 29, 2004, by Eddie K. Toll.

Reportedly, the bank teller knows Ellis from numerous prior dealings and advised her that the check could not be cashed that day, but would have to be deposited and given sufficient time to clear. Ellis allegedly deposited the check and then made large withdrawals from her account on July 2, July 3 and July 6, the affidavit stated.

It was later learned that the check presented by the suspect was a counterfeit document that was never authorized by anyone employed by Berkeley Farms, the affidavit stated.

During the course of the investigation, the investigator contacted Michael Young at Berkeley Farms. Young stated that the real check number 0142354 was made payable to Minute Maid Company in the amount of $6,429.60. Young further stated that the check passed by the suspect was a counterfeit and was never authorized by anyone associated with Berkeley Farms.

Dunn said more charges are expected in the case.

Contact Jimmie Ferguson at jferguson@kdhnews.com

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