Charles Jost found competent for trial in fraud investigation - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Charles Jost found competent to stand trial in fraud investigation

UPDATE - We have an update on the social security fraud case in Portage County.

A judge ruled there is enough evidence for Charles Jost to head to trial.

In September, Jost was charged along with his sister, Dolores Disher and brother in law Ronald Disher as authorities investigated a missing persons case and social security fraud.

All three are due back in court on December.

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One of the men charged in a bizarre fraud investigation in Portage County has been found competent to stand trial. 

Charles Jost, his sister Delores Disher and brother-in-law Ronald Disher, are charged with fraudulently cashing social security checks for more than 30 years. Authorities say those checks belong to their mother, Marie Jost. Authorities say Marie Jost is missing.

In court, Charles Jost told the judge he was competent to stand trial. And, a previous mental examination confirmed that.

"I'm surprised that happened since he has such a lack of education," Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood said.

Records show during the exam, Jost identified the current president and could do some simple math. Still, doctors rated his education at a first grade level. 

"Now that he is competent he will be treated like any other defendant," Isherwood said.

Delores and Ronald Disher also appeared in court. Both entered "Not Guilty" pleas on the charges of fraud.  

"We will continue to sort through all the evidence and believe more will come out as that's sorted through," Isherwood explained.

Neither defense lawyer was available for comment.

In addition, all three are suspects in the disappearance of Marie Jost. Authorities believe Marie is dead. She hasn't been seen or heard from since the 1980s. Investigators say they believe her body could be buried in her own backyard.

During a search of Marie's property authorities did find bone fragments they believe could be human. Those bones have been sent to the crime lab for further testing.

Right now, no charges have been filed in connection with Marie's disappearance.

"The three of them will remain suspects until Marie Jost's remains are found," Isherwood said.

Prosecutors say the next step in the investigation is tracking where the social security money went. But, they say it could take weeks before any new evidence surfaces.

All three remain in custody in the Portage County jail. Their next court appearance is December 10. 

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