by Jon Schuessler
In 2004, things took a turn for the worse for Richard Turner. His income, while significant, no longer covered his lavish lifestyle. By 2011, Turner was in danger of losing his home in Bethany to a bad mortgage. His clothing store, Richard’s/TD Clothiers, was failing. On January 31st, he filed for bankruptcy.
But as luck would have it, an elderly client of his, Mrs. Dorothy Bush, was put into a nursing facility because her memory was failing. Turner had set up a contract that gave him the power to ensure Mrs. Bush’s comfort and conduct her business if she became incapacitated. Turner saw a way out of his troubles.
He moved quickly, and got Mrs. Bush to sign a “revocable trust” that gave him complete power over her estate. The contract was not witnessed, but Turner notarized it himself, which fooled the banks – for a time.
Richard Turner then proceeded to shamelessly rip off Mrs. Bush, who was declared by doctors to be mentally incapacitated one week after signing the trust. Turner paid off his mortgage, and invested thousands to shore up his beloved clothing store. Turner revoked his bankruptcy, and proceeded to rack up more debt, buying thousands in store goods and home luxuries.
His appetite became insatiable. He sold Mrs. Bush’s farmland for half a million dollars by the summer of that year. By December of 2013, however, the money was almost gone. Turner had gotten a new swimming pool, his Hummer was running smoothly, and his clothing store was open for business.
But he needed more. Turner tried to get another $200,000 but he made mistakes, and the banks notified the authorities.The Aftermath:
On November 4th, 2014, Turner was re-elected as Harrison County Prosecutor.
He pled guilty to his crimes just two weeks later. He was 39 years old.
Richard Turner was sentenced by a federal court to 3 years and 9 months in jail without parole, and ordered to pay restitution to his client and back-taxes to the state and federal government.
His clothing store never met with success, even with the stolen capital.(Click here for the FBI report on Turner's conviction)
Jon Schuessler is a Volunteer leader in Jefferson County, and the chairman for Missouri Volunteers for Government Reform, a Political Action Committee (PAC) of the Volunteer Movement. Click here to read his bio or contact him.