LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Investigators say Jennifer Fletcher, 42, appeared before a Magistrate in Massillon on Monday accused of stealing as much as $16,000 from her son, Scott Davis, while he was overseas fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The accusations were first brought to the attention of police by Davis' wife. Lawrence Township Police Chief Mark Brink tells Fox 8 News that following an investigation, his detectives concluded that Fletcher was taking the money from her son's income tax refunds and from his military pay as far back as 2010.
"Originally he had asked her to do his income tax for him, both his state and his federal," explained Brink.
"When he did that he gave her all of his banking information, that type of thing. She did the returns for him and then took that money for herself right away as soon as the refund came in. She was also able to obtain checks in his name. She forged his name on the checks and paid bills with that money," said Brink.
"He (Davis) had been in Afghanistan and wasn't aware that the money was being used, and on his return found out that the money he thought was going to be there for him was already spent," said the Chief.
Police say Fletcher had been on the run since learning that warrants had been issued for her in July.
Investigators believe she had been living with Keith Hoover, 45, of Canal Fulton who was arrested in July and charged him with complicity to commit identity fraud, complicity to commit forgery, and two counts of complicity to commit theft.
Police say Hoover benefitted from the money that was stolen and had to know about what Fletcher was doing.
Chief Brink says Fletcher was arrested on Sunday after she was pulled over by police in Brewster, Ohio using a car with a license plate reader.
"We had contact with Akron who had a warrant for her with a stolen vehicle out of Akron and that vehicle was stopped yesterday with Ms. Fletcher driving it," said Brink.
Fletcher was transferred to the Stark County Jail where she is charged with identity fraud, forgery, and two counts of theft. She was being held Monday on a $150,000 bond.
Police say her son, who was stationed out of a military base in Afghanistan, was deployed overseas for another tour last week.
"To me it's unbelievable that anybody would take money from the young men and women who are fighting for us. And for him to be out of this country and have no control whatsoever of what's happening on the states and for her to take advantage of that, it's just unbelievable," added Brink, who concluded "I don't know how you take that money and lay your head down and sleep."