Former Seymour restaurateur arrested for corrupt business influence


The former operator of a downtown Seymour eatery was arrested on five charges including committing corrupt business influence Wednesday, police report.

David W. Lawrence, 58, of Louisville, Kentucky, also faces charges of theft, check deception, check fraud and causing neglect of dependents, Jackson County Reserve Officer Scott Davis said.

The charges stem from an investigation into Lawrence’s business practices involving Rails Craft Brew & Eatery at 114 St. Louis Ave., Davis said.

That investigation began after Tom Goecker, owner of the building where Rails is located, took over the business in December and discovered irregularities involving checks, Davis said.

During the investigation, Davis said it was determined Lawrence had written several checks to employees and other business associates knowing that at the time those checks would not be honored by his bank.

Lawrence also wrote checks to the Indiana State Central Collection Unit for child support payments that were no longer being honored because too many of the checks were being returned by the bank for insufficient funds, Davis said.

That money, which totaled more than $3,000, was for child support that was being withheld from employees at Rails, he said.

It is believed Lawrence used the money to pay for other business expenses and ventures for a Rails Restaurant he used to own in Clarksville and another restaurant under construction on South Chestnut Street, Davis said.

Lawrence was arrested at that restaurant, Bella Vita, on Wednesday afternoon and booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 6:06 p.m.

Davis said Lawrence said he was no longer involved in Rails or Bella Vita.

Lawrence was being held without bond pending his initial hearing in Jackson Circuit Court.

The corrupt business influence charge is a Level 5 felony, punishable by one to six years in prison upon conviction. The charges are Level 6 felonies.

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