Bond reduction denied for Hunnewell man charged with embezzling $3.5 million from Monroe City business

Ryan Edlin

Ryan Edlin | Photo courtesy of Monroe County Sheriff's Department

PARIS, Mo. — A Hunnewell man made his first appearance in Monroe County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning after he was arrested last week and charged with embezzling $3.5 million from a livestock auction house in Monroe City.

Ryan M. Edlin, 41, and his attorney, John P. Rogers of Clayton, appeared by video before Circuit Judge Talley Smith. Edlin is being held in the Randolph County Jail in Moberly on no bond. 

Edlin was arrested June 4 in Brown County, Ill. He has been charged with:

  • One count of money laundering, a Class B felony punishable for between five and 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections;
  • Five counts of stealing $25,000 or more, a Class C felony punishable for between three and 10 years in the DOC;
  • One count of forgery (on a tax return), a Class D felony punishable for up to seven years in prison or one year in the county jail;
  • One count of deceptive business practice, a Class A misdemeanor punishable for up to one year in jail.

Edlin’s mother, Anna M. Edlin, 64, has been charged with the same money laundering, stealing and forgery counts. She was arrested April 15 in Monroe County, arraigned on April 16 and housed in the Marion County Jail. Circuit Judge Rachel Bringer-Shepherd ordered on June 6 for Anna Edlin’s bond to be amended to $100,000 and to have GPS monitoring installed. She also is prohibited from using her accounts at Macon-Atlanta (MA) Bank. 

A probable cause statement provided April 11 by Monroe County Sheriff Joe Colston said he received a criminal complaint alleging that Edlin embezzled approximately $3.5 million during his employment from March 2019 to October 2023 at a local business (which was redacted on the statement).

Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Nicole Volkert said during Tuesday’s bond hearing that the business filing the complaint against Edlin is Heinold Hog Market.

Colston wrote he reviewed bank records associated with Edlin, as well as checks, invoices and computer data entry. He also verified a registration for a fictitious name filed by Edlin with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. 

His investigation revealed hundreds of checks written during Edlin’s employment, with amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, then graduating increasing to weekly five-figure checks. Colston listed a series of eight checks written in September and October 2023 for between $19,450 and $22,765.

Colston wrote that data was entered into Heinold’s computer system under Edlin’s login credentials initiating invoices for payments for hogs that were not sold — in fact, they didn’t exist at all.   A search warrant at a property (name redacted) revealed no evidence of the existence of hogs or a hog operation.

The fraudulent computer data entries led to the generation of checks that were deposited with Edlin’s signature, which matched the signature cards acquired from banks as well as financial documents seized during a search warrant executed on March 11. Many deposits were made using mobile devices, and funds regularly were transferred between accounts.

Details about Anna Edlin’s involvement in her son’s crimes were redacted in Colston’s statement.

Rogers said during Tuesday’s hearing that he filed a motion asking for Ryan Edlin’s bond to be made the same as his mother’s.

“My client has no prior felony criminal convictions,” Rogers said. “When (Ryan Edlin) was apprehended, he was apprehended on East Street in Mount Sterling in a home owned by his father, who is suffering from terminal cancer. The family believes he has approximately two to three weeks to live.

“If living in Illinois is not an option that the court finds reasonable, my client also can return to his residence in Hunnewell and reside there under GPS monitoring. The allegations against my client are simply that. They are allegations. … While the allegations and the dollar amounts are significant, a bond of $100,000 is significant as well. … He will he has obtained counsel, and he cooperated in waiving extradition to come back to the state of Missouri.”

Volkert said she spoke with representatives of Heinold Hog Market, who told her they opposed any bond reduction. She said civil orders are in place by the Circuit Court of Monroe County because there is reason to believe Ryan Edlin has been trying to dispose of properties, depriving the state of the ability to obtain those. 

“I would also like the court to note that when he was arrested in Illinois, he had fled, knowing that there was a warrant he,” Volkert said. “His mother announced that in court in Ralls County that he was nowhere near here, and he remained out for some time following the filing of charges.

“I also would note that for the court he is likely facing resisting arrest and assaulting a law enforcement officer charges due to an incident when he was arrested. He was non-compliant. It went on for hours, as my understanding, to get him under arrest. So all of those factors considered, I believe the bond in this case is appropriate and shall remain.”

Rogers said it was “difficult to speak on the issue” of the additional charges in Brown County when none of them have yet been filed.

When Smith asked about details of the arrest, Chief Deputy Patrick Mackenzie said, “When law enforcement arrived on the scene, (Ryan Edlin) fled into the residence with law enforcement pursuing. (Officers) had to force entry. There were firearms present inside the residence, and numerous injuries were injured during the apprehension of Mr. Edlin (who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 300 pounds).”

Volkert added that she learned one of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department deputies suffered a broken nose during Ryan Edlin’s arrest.

Smith denied the motion for bond reduction.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 20.

Anna Edlin | Photo courtesy of Marion County Jail

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