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Truck driver arrested for stealing $310k after 3-year GPD investigation

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.

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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. 

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