SENTENCING: Col. City native to be sentenced in theft
CLAYTON, Mo. — A former Columbia City resident will be sentenced Monday in a Missouri court for stealing at least $25,000 from a trust designed to protect the assets of his parents.Larry G. Mueller, 62, is scheduled to be in St. Louis County Circuit Court in Clayton, Mo. at 8:45 a.m. Monday on a charge of theft, a Class B felony.The charge is for the theft of more than $25,000, but those close to the case estimate the alleged crime involved more money.“Estimated current losses to the trust are between $100,000 and $125,000,” said S. Kay Smith, the trustee who replaced Mueller on Oct. 7, 2011.According to Smith, Mueller had been trustee of what’s called an irrevocable trust in Indiana. Rich Mueller, Larry’s brother said the trust was created to protect the assets of Christian and Juanita Mueller, their parents.Rich Mueller said an investigation was launched by St. Louis police in April, 2011. Larry Mueller was arrested Oct. 19, just 12 days after being removed as trustee.Rich Mueller said it’s estimated that Larry Mueller wrote at least 108 checks to himself from the trust account. He added that a balance of $469.85 remained in the account before it could be frozen.Larry Mueller could face a sentence of five to 15 years imprisonment.Mueller’s brother also confirmed that Larry Mueller was owner-operator of a non-licensed furniture restoration business called Renaissance Furniture Restoration.The business has a St. Louis address.On a website called merchantcircle.com, several comments were posted accusing Mueller of defrauding customers, to include taking in furniture and failing to return it to customers. In one posting, the customer said Mueller had failed to return a desk after more than two years.