Federal jury finds Kershaw accountant guilty of stealing from elderly couple

jmonk@thestate.comJune 4, 2014 

gavel

It took a federal jury just 45 minutes Wednesday morning to find a Kershaw County accountant guilty of four counts of using stolen money to transport goods across state lines.

Joseph Glenn Folsom Jr., 61, whom a federal prosecutor said in his closing argument had “looted” some $580,000 from the estate of an elderly couple, will be sentenced at a later date by presiding Judge Joe Anderson.

During the three-day trial at the Matthew Perry Federal Courthouse in Columbia, assistant U.S. attorney Winston Holliday put up 18 witnesses the prosecution used to show the jury that Folsom in 2006 had formed a family limited partnership for a woman identified in an indictment only as “E.F.” One witness was an FBI agent with a background in accounting.

At that time, E.F. and her husband were in their 80s or early 90s and in poor health. E.F. trusted Folsom because he had been their accountant for some 30 years, prosecutors said. She had him prepare a will and a power of attorney.

E.F. and her husband died in 2007, leaving an estate worth hundreds of thousands of dollars under Folsom’s control. The money was in the family limited partnership and other accounts, and he was supposed to spend the money for the benefit of the estate.

According to the prosecution, Folsom began dipping into their money, using it “to buy real property, an airplane and classic cars, among other things,” according to an indictment in the case. One car was a 2002 Chevrolet Corvette worth $19,827.

The federal government had jurisdiction in the case because the property Folsom bought with his stolen South Carolina money was located out of state. He went to car auctions in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Moultrie, Ga., and bought cars using the stolen money, according to the prosecution.

In all, he misappropriated some $580,000, Holliday argued to the jury. About $160,000 of that money has been recovered, due to a civil lawsuit by E.F.’s son against Folsom.

Defense attorney Arthur Aiken of Columbia only put up one witness – Folsom. Folsom testified there was missing evidence – evidence the defendant implied would show he was innocent.

Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344

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