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Press Release: People v. Jones, Joseph Won Lee, 6/24/10

June 24, 2010

Bradford R. Fenocchio

District Attorney



10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240

Roseville, California 95678

916 543-8000




For Immediate Release

Date: June 24, 2010                        



                        Art Campos

                        Public Information Officer

                        916 543-8076

                        Scott Owens

                        Assistant District Attorney

                        916 543-8000






A magazine salesman who thought he could save his job by writing a fraudulent check to make himself look good in the eyes of his employer has been sent to state prison for two years and four months by a Placer County judge.

The salesman, Joseph Won Lee Jones, 33, stole a blank check from a 71-year-old Auburn resident on Feb. 2 after she invited him into the house and placed a magazine subscription order for $44.

Jones then asked for a glass of water. When the victim left the room to get it for him, Jones went to the woman’s checkbook and took a blank check, which he later used to write another magazine order for $396 in an effort to impress his bosses.

Prosecutor Jim Deslaurier of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office said the defendant told authorities he was having trouble meeting sales numbers.

“He didn’t want to lose his job,” Deslaurier said.

When the victim received her bank statement later that month, she noticed the $396 transaction and went to the Auburn Police Department to report the incident. Jones was tracked down to San Bernardino County and was arrested on March 10.

He later entered a plea of no contest to a felony charge of petty theft with a prior offense and of committing a financial crime against an elderly person.

Superior Court Judge Jeff Penney sentenced Jones to prison on Wednesday and ordered him to make restitution of $396 to the victim’s bank.

Deslaurier said the District Attorney’s Office “takes very seriously any crime in which a perpetrator enters a home, particularly when the victim is an elderly person. We have no tolerance for that.”

Deslaurier urged all citizens not to let strangers who are knocking on doors into their homes to conduct business.