Iowa man accused of using worthless checks to buy cars

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Justin Nelson (police photo)

An Iowa man is charged with theft after he allegedly bought cars and got cash with checks drawn on an account that contained only $7.

Justin Nelson, 34, was arrested January 23, 2013 after he was charged with two counts of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree theft. 

Nelson reportedly used $5 to open a checking account December 15, 2012 at the Greater Iowa Credit Union, then deposited another $2 into the account December 21.

Within two weeks, Nelson allegedly wrote checks drawn on that account to two car dealers in Ames, where he bought a 2009 Honda civic EX and a 2007 Chevy Silverado pickup truck with a snow blade.  He allegedly wrote another $1,175 worth of worthless checks to a woman with whom he was living.

The Ames Tribune reports that in total, Nelson wrote nearly $60,000 worth of checks on the account. 

Nelson was held in the Story County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.  He was appointed a public defender.

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