AMES, Iowa – A member of Greater Iowa CU was charged with theft yesterday for allegedly writing almost $60,000 worth of checks on an account that had just $7 in it.

Justin Nelson, 34, started a checking account with the credit union on Dec. 15 with $5. He received several “starter checks” and on Dec. 21, deposited an additional $2 in the account.

On Dec. 18, Nelson bought a 2009 Honda Civic for $16,479 and wrote a check for the amount. He also bought a 2007 Chevy Silverado pickup truck with an attached snow blade, writing two checks for the total amount of the vehicle. All three checks bounced and were returned to the dealerships.

Meanwhile, police say, Nelson was living with a woman in Ames who agreed to cash three checks Nelson wrote totaling $1,175 on the account. The woman was able to cash the checks but when the banks discovered there was no money in Nelson’s account, they sent notices saying the account the checks had been written on was either closed or had insufficient funds.

Nelson was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree theft.


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