AWOL Guardsman Accused of Fraud

An Oklahoma Army National Guardsman is accused of fraud after allegedly canvassing neighborhoods, going door-to-door in his military uniform asking for donations. Pfc. Nicholas Heskett, 20, was charged in Logan County District Court with two counts of fraud.  He may face additional charges in Oklahoma County, as authorities suspect he may have carried out a similar scheme in Edmond and Oklahoma City. According to reports, Heskett allegedly donned his camouflage fatigues and went door-to-door in Crescent and southern Logan County soliciting donations for wounded soldiers and to send care packages to soldiers. However, according to Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Max Moss, the guard does not solicit donations in this manner.  Moss cautions, "If someone shows up at your door in a military uniform asking for money, you should advise law enforcement as soon as possible." Pfc. Nicholas Heskett is a member of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, but according to Lt. Col. Moss, he has been absent without leave, or AWOL, from the Guard for several months. Logan County District Attorney Tom Lee has charged Heskett with two counts of obtaining money or property by false pretenses. Chapter 61 of the Oklahoma Criminal Code (Title 21 of the state statutes) deals with "Frauds, Cheats, False Pretenses, and False Personations":

  • Section 1541.1 - Obtaining Property by Trick or Deception - Attempt - False Representation or Pretense - Confidence Game – Penalty - Every person who, with intent to cheat and defraud, shall obtain or attempt to obtain from any person, firm or corporation any money, property or valuable thing, of a value less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), by means or by use of any trick or deception, or false or fraudulent representation or statement or pretense, or by any other means or instruments or device commonly called the "confidence game", or by means or use of any false or bogus checks, or by any other written or printed or engraved instrument or spurious coin, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
  • Section 1541.2 - Penalty - Value of Property, Money, or Valuable Thing - If the value of the money, property or valuable thing referred to in Section 1541.1 of this title is Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more but less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), any person convicted pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by incarceration in the county jail for not to exceed one (1) year or incarceration in the county jail one or more nights or weekends pursuant to Section 991a-2 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, at the option of the court, and shall be subject to a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) and ordered to provide restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991a of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and if the value is One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or more, any person convicted hereunder shall be deemed guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term not more than ten (10) years, or by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Depending on the amount of money obtained from the alleged fraudulent collections, Pfc. Heskett faces misdemeanor or felony conviction with penalties including up to ten years in prison and a $5,000 fine.  For anyone accused of obtaining money or property, finding an experienced and knowledgeable attorney is critical to successful defense.  To find a fraud lawyer in Oklahoma, visit our website at Oklahoma-Criminal-Defense.com.

Comments