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I'd never before seen the phrase “serial fraudster,” but that's how federal prosecutors described a Republic man they portray as a habitual criminal threatening the community.

George Finley Myers Jr., 48, former owner of Beefcakes restaurant in Republic, was sentenced this month to 4 years and 8 months in prison.

He was arrested by FBI agents on Feb. 26, 2021, for being a felon in possession of a firearm — a shotgun.

George F. Myers of Republic was sentenced this month to federal prison. (Photo from Greene County jail)

In court documents, prosecutors state that the restaurant, which has since closed, was probably one of Myers' few business ventures that was not a criminal enterprise.

At the time of the arrest, Myers was out on bail after pleading guilty to a federal charge of fraud — involving pilfering $368,594 from two out-of-state medical-supply companies. He was awaiting sentencing.

In the fraud case, according to documents, Myers pretended to be his son — who was overseas serving in the military — and occasionally forged his son's name to receive medical supplies for which he did not pay.

Court documents state Myers has four children and has a relationship with two of them.

Myers already was a convicted felon when he embarked on his medical-supplies fraud, according to court documents.

In the fraud case, he pleaded guilty and posted bail and was released and — 19 days later — embarked on a new criminal scheme, according to court documents. It involved the sale and repair of classic cars at a Republic business called Fuel Automotive.

“He was smooth,” says Allen Stephens, 75, a retired Springfield Public School teacher who lives in Springfield.

“He talked about all the cars he had rebuilt,” Stephens tells me.

Stephens had always wanted to restore a classic Mustang.

In retirement, he bought a 1965 Mustang that needed work. He noticed various classic cars on the lot at Fuel Automotive and Myers agreed to restore Stephens' car for $20,000 — with $10,000 down.

Stephens says Myers never worked on the car and that, in a way, he is lucky to be out only $10,000. At least he got the car back.

He still plans on having it restored even though the first repairman he went to promptly retired because of diabetes and the second promptly retired after a heart attack. Myers was choice No. 3.

Stephens says at one point he called the office of the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney and was told to call the FBI. He met with an agent.

Felon in possession of a firearm

According to federal court documents filed by the prosecutor:

“(Myers) is a serial fraudster who has fleeced hundreds of thousands of dollars from his victims over the course of his adulthood.

“A defendant who preys on the financial security of others is dangerous even if he does not prey on their physical well-being.

“The defendant's offenses in this case tell the story of a criminal who has created multiple companies to use in fraud scheme after fraud scheme, and who recently involved firearms in his illegal activity.”

Myers was not criminally charged in connection to his car-repair operation, although in his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm he agreed to try to make restitution of $10,000 to Stephens and $644,200 to Mark E. Farnham, who was a radiologist in Joplin.

I tried to contact Farnham for this story but he did not respond.

Farnham initially sued Myers in civil court after paying Myers for the purchase of various cars, and to restore and repair others.

In the lawsuit, Farnham stated Myers did not do the work and did not provide the cars.

The FBI discovered that in one car transaction Myers accepted a shotgun as partial payment, and that months later he gave it as a gift to someone — meaning that during this period he was a felon in possession of a firearm.

That charge is a major arrow in a federal prosecutor's quiver: it carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and $250,000 in fines.

In the mail-fraud conviction involving medical supplies, Myers agreed he would try to make restitution of $368,593.75 to Invacare Corporation in Ohio and $47,000 to Medical Depot in Chicago.

According to court documents, Myers' criminal history starts before his conduct in Republic. It includes felony convictions for forgery in Jasper County in 1998 and failure to file a Missouri income tax return in 2014.

Court documents state Myers also was arrested for felony theft in 2005 and 2015.

“In addition to being a serial fraudster, the defendant also has a violent criminal history; he has convictions for battery (three) and violation of an order of protection.

“The defendant has mostly received probation sentences for his past crimes,” federal prosecutors state in court documents.

As of Friday, Myers was still in the Greene County Jail. He was sentenced to serve his time in a federal medical center because he suffers from a chronic health disease, according to court documents.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Hauxeda. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin