Man Bilked Out Of Thousands Of Dollars, Partner Accused Of Embezzlement

Friday, March 9th 2007, 1:13 pm
By: News On 6

A former Tulsa investment advisor now faces 25 counts of embezzlement. The Attorney General's office says Jeffery Plunkett stole at least $147,000 from his partner, who is 87 years old. The victim, Winston Mobley, is smart as a whip about money, but when he lost his eyesight, he needed someone to help manage his investments, read his mail and balance his checkbook. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports he chose a man he'd trained and worked with for years, a man he thought was his very best friend.

Winston Mobley traveled all over the world during his 20 years in the Marines, then had a successful 48 year career with Prudential. The only thing that slowed him down was the loss of his eyesight. That's what forced him to trust someone to help handle his money. He chose JC Plunkett, a man Winston thought was like his buddies from his war days.

"When you're in combat, you have to have someone you can rely on,” said Mobley. “I had that for 50 years; Bob Holder was my best friend. I considered this man to be my best friend, that's why I trusted him with everything."

That trust was betrayed. Court papers say Plunkett wrote checks to himself out of Winston's investment account, even signed Winston's name, $6,000 one day, $8,900 another and so on. Winston says he and Plunkett had a face-to-face chat.

"I said JC, how come you did this? I said, I know you did. He said yes. I said how much did you steal and he said I don't know. And, neither do I."

Winston's daughter had suspicions, but was largely kept out of the loop since her father trusted Plunkett so implicitly. The truth outraged her.

"This is a man with zero scruples, none,” said Mobley’s daughter Garnell Riddle. “He stole from his father in law more than he stole from my father, his father in law and his best friend, absolutely amazing."

Winston doesn't know how the system will handle Plunkett, but has an idea of his own.

"I would like to get him in a room by myself. I believe I could get out of him, the full story," he said.

Mr. Mobley is not only out the money that was stolen, but is also out the proceeds from the investments that were never made, he also owes taxes on the stocks Plunkett sold. Mobley also sold his house to Plunkett, but records show Plunkett paid for the house with money he'd stolen from Mobley.

Winston Mobley says he asked Plunkett why he did this and he told him, "Because it was so easy."

Plunkett has a court hearing on Monday.