Rousell fraud 1898 continues
a 8 IGNORANCE BETRAYED HIM. The Words "Fracture of the Brain" May Send Edward Rousell to Prison. The following interesting story, in which Franklin county figures, is being published by various newspapers: The charge against Edward Rousell of Lawrence, against whom information is filed in the United States district court, alleging fraudulent use of the United States mails, brings to light a peculiar story. Early in 189G, a councif of the Fraternal Aid society, a beneficiary insurance organization, was instituted at Peoria, Franklin county, Kas. On its list of members was the name of James M. Ritchey, supposed to be a commercial traveler. He appeared to have been regularly initiated, examined by a physician, and to have taken out an insurance policy for 53,000. The assessments were promptly paid on the policy until June of the same year, wnen it was reported that Ritchey had been severely injured in a runaway at Badito, Col., from tho effects of which he died. In due time, proof of death was filed with the officers of the association, duly ceritified before an alleged notary public at Pictou, Col., and it was asked that the insurance be sent to Mrs. Mary T. Wright, a sister of Ritchey. The death certificate said that Ritchey came to his death by "fracture of the brain." Dr. Horner, the general medical examiner, through whose inspection the proof passed, thought that no physician would use such an expression and he became suspicious. He wrote to the supposed notary, but the letter was returned unopened. He then wrote to the postmasters at both Badito and Pictou, asking concerning the accident and those who signed the death certificate. Both postmasters replied that no such accident had ever occurred in that vicinity and that they had never heard of the pesrons mentioned. Further investigation showed that James M. Ritchey was an imaginary being and thpt the entire transaction was a fraud. W. T. Walker of Minneapolis, Minn., president of the order, and Dr. Horner suspected Rousell of perpetrating the fraud and brought the matter before the general council at Wichita, in February, 1897, but no action was taken and Rousell was re-elected general sec retary by a vote of 31 to 19. Walker and Dr. Horner then placed the letters and documents 'into the hands of a United States postoffise inspector and Rousell was arrested for the fraudulent use of mails.' The case was brought up at Leavenworth last November, but was continued to the present term.