BY JENNIFER CABRERA
James Douglas Kimball, 58, was arrested yesterday and charged with stealing $100k or more, following a 3-year investigation to identify and locate him after a third party allegedly cashed $310,000 in fraudulent checks for him.
The case began sometime in 2018, when the main witness for the case met a truck driver in Georgia; she knew him as Chris McCracken. “McCracken” allegedly asked the witness to execute a Power of Attorney (POA) for his “friend Peter,” and she executed that POA in Miami-Dade County in March of 2019 and then used it to withdraw two cashier’s checks from the victims’ account, in the amounts of $150,000 and $160,000. The victims were a Boca Raton couple, but the withdrawals were made at a Gainesville bank. The checks were made out to a business with an Ocala address that turned out to be actually located in Philadelphia.
The bank contacted Gainesville Police Department (GPD), and a GPD detective was able to identify the witness who withdrew the funds. A few weeks later, the bank notified GPD that the witness had also tried to withdraw money from the couple’s account using the POA. The witness was held and questioned; she agreed to cooperate in identifying “McCracken” and forward all communication with him to the detective.
In June of 2019, “McCracken” texted the witness asking for her help in obtaining $5,000. He gave the witness a mailing address, but the address did not help in identifying him.
In July of 2019, the detective uploaded “McCracken’s” photograph to an image identification system, which resulted in a Facebook account for “Jim Kimball” with a hometown of Norwalk, CT. Two of the photos on the account matched photos “McCracken” had sent to the witness. The witness also positively identified a photo from the “Jim Kimball” Facebook account as “McCracken.” A warrant was issued in September of 2020, and Kimball was booked into the Alachua County Jail last Thursday.
Kimball was originally charged with two counts of exploiting an elderly or disabled person, fraud of $50,000 or more, and two counts of grand larceny of $100,000 or more. Formal charges were filed only on one count of grand larceny of $100,000 or more. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.