Law and Order Lake County
March 27, 2013 9:38PM
Updated: April 29, 2013 12:03PM
Valpo man charged with fraud, theft
A Valparaiso man has been charged with theft, fraud on a financial institution and four counts of forgery after authorities allege he forged and deposited into his account more than $188,000 in funds belonging to his former employer.
Joseph James Lara, 47, of the 100 block of Kensington Drive, faces a maximum eight-year sentence on each of the charges filed in Lake Superior Court.
Lara is charged with forging signatures for one of the owners of Brant Construction in Schererville and depositing the checks from accounts related to two properties Lara managed for the firm. The deposits were made in September and November.
When Lara was questioned about the discoveries, Lara was unable to produce invoices relating to work for which the checks were purportedly made and abruptly quit.