UPDATE: Man Accused of Lake Area Scams Pleads Guilty to Felonies
CAMDENTON - The man accused of numerous scams involving boat docks and other transactions in the Lake of the Ozarks area pleaded guilty to three felony charges Wednesday. Those charges against Daniel E. Francis of Lake Ozark included failing to pay income taxes, theft and passing a bad check totalling about $15,000. Francis also admitted to Judge Kenneth Hayden he knew the check could not be paid at the time.
Francis was not sentenced Wednesday, but the state requested he wear a GPS monitoring device in place of setting bond between this trial and sentencing scheduled for Nov. 9. Francis will also have to pay for the GPS device under the state's recommendation.
According to Assistant Camden County Prosecuting Attorney Steven Kretzer, seven cases against Francis will appear on the Nov. 9 docket. This includes the above three felony charges. The judge will also review one felony case to which Francis pleaded not guilty and three additional felony charges. Francis waived arraignment to those charges Wednesday.
After seeing KOMU 8 News' Target 8 Investigation into complaints against Francis, Platte City resident Jim Selph spoke with us about his case from 2008. Selph said he dealt with Francis to purchase a dock from Ozark Village Docks and Associates. Selph also said Francis signed the contract on that deal and still owes him about $26,000.
Selph was present at the trial, and said he was relieved to see justice was served. "It was closure to a matter that's been... outstanding for about four years," Selph said. If Francis pays restitution, the court will drop the charges, but Selph said Francis must prove any money toward that comes from "legitimate means."
Based on the felony charges read Wednesday, Francis could serve up to seven years in prison with concurrent sentences. If Francis is granted probation, he also told the judge he would consider a move out of Missouri. Judge Hayden said in the trial that would not be allowed unless the new state agreed to supervise Francis' probation.