Charges: Rochester Man Stole Nearly $8,000 from Body Shop He Once Owned
Court documents say Rochester police received a report from Virgil’s Auto Repair and Towing regarding a stolen check. An owner of the business indicated the check had been deposited into a different account in January.
Investigators subpoenaed the bank records and learned that the account that received the check belonged to 44-year-old Royal James Johnson of Rochester. The man who reported the stolen check told police Johnson was a former owner of the body shop and said he and Johnson agreed to a contract that would transfer Virgil's name and business equipment to him, the criminal complaint says.
Investigators further examined banking information and found 16 checks intended for the body shop that were deposited in Johnson’s account between January 3 and January 26. The 16 checks, intended to pay for services provided at the body shop, totaled $7,984.01, the charges say.
Johnson told police he was still the owner of Virgil’s and said it was a shell company that’s no longer operating at its location in the 1600 block of 3rd Ave. Southeast. Johnson said he cashed the checks and had them forwarded from the body shop to an address under his control, according to the complaint.
The charges say Johnson could not provide documentation that he performed services for the checks he had cashed. The U.S. Postal Service confirmed Johnson had forwarded mail intended for the business to his private residence.
Prosecutors charged Johnson with one felony count of mail theft and a felony theft count. He’s due for his first court appearance on May 31.