by Bruce Gietzen
WACO - A Texas man pled guilty in Federal Court in Waco Thursday to defrauding a local bank, two jet leasing companies and three men - including his son-in-law and a local attorney.
Court papers say Joshua Matthew Pierce opened a bank account at Extraco Bank in Waco last October, promising bank officials he would wire $10,000 into the new account. He then withdrew $550 using a debit card and never completed the wire deposit as promised.
A month later, Pierce formed a partnership with two men in Robinson, Texas; Michael Carter and Pierce's son-in-law, Ken Lewis, telling them he owned a business in Kansas City.
The three decided to attempt to buy Aurora Aviation at the McGregor airport. Pierce promised his new partners he would wire $150,000 into a new account to cover operating expenses, but then used his partners personal information to obtain fraudulent credit cards.
He proceeded to fraudulently purchase charter flights from two companies, Paradigm Jet Management of Muskegon, Michigan, and Jet Team, Inc. of Arizona for more than $30,000 using those credit cards.
Pierce initially denied committing fraud to Robinson PD detectives, and hired Waco attorney Guy Cox to represent him in court.
According to court documents, Pierce then gave a phony letter of credit to police and then paid his legal fees to Cox with a fraudulent check. In January, authorities say he confessed to the crimes.
Judge Walter Smith set a sentencing date of July 11th for Pierce.