Gainesville couple indicted for stealing from family bank account

A Gainesville couple is accused of taking money from a bank account one of the suspects shares with his mother. An Ozark County grand jury has indicted Manuel Asher with a felony count of stealing $25,000 or more and Stephanie Asher with a felony count of stealing $750 or more.

According to the Ozark County Times, a deputy wrote in a probable cause statement he spoke Manuel Asher’s mother in April after she reported theft of money from her son. The mother had reportedly received an insurance check after her residence was damaged in a fire on Christmas Day 2019. After Manuel Asher told her he would fix her residence, she deposited the check into a joint account at a Gainesville bank. The mother reportedly spent over $39,000 and left over $63,000 to be spent on the residence. She says she never gave Manuel Asher permission to use the funds for his personal use, and the money was to only be spent on the residence.

The deputy states bank records show teller withdrawals from the joint account soon after it was opened. They reportedly included three $5,000 withdrawals in February 2020. Those, paired with other cash withdrawals Manuel reportedly made from the bank account, added up to $36,100 in all.

Manuel Asher also allegedly wrote checks to his wife, Stephanie, from the account, and other checks were written to her in a handwriting inconsistent with his handwriting. There were reportedly five checks written to Stephanie Asher totaling $3,670.

The bank records also reportedly showed a check written to a home improvement retailer for over $4,000, and it was allegedly used for the Ashers’ own kitchen remodel at their residence. Manuel Asher’s mother reportedly told the officer she did not authorize the money to be used that way.

Other checks detailed in the court document include one for over $2,600 written to a business on March 2020 for work completed on Manuel Asher’s Jeep and a $2,000 check written to an individual with the memo line, “mower.”

Manuel and Stephanie Asher are currently being represented by West Plains-area attorney Jacob Garrett. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 4.

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI