Bill Ruth has been indicted on an allegation that he deposited a $43,000 settlement check — made payable to a woman and her attorney, identified as Ruth — into Ruth’s wife’s account, court documents state.
The November session of the Brown County Grand Jury returned the sealed indictment for misapplication of fiduciary property against Ruth, 54, court documents state.
Ruth turned himself in at the Brown County Jail Thursday morning, sheriff’s officials said. Ruth was freed later Thursday on a personal recognizance bond.
Ruth took to social media Thursday afternoon to announce the “utterly insane” indictment and declare his innocence, asserting he is a victim of “obviously a bank error.” Ruth asserted his client was paid in full three days after the “erroneous deposit.”
The indictment contains an image of the settlement check, written in July 2017 on a Fredericksburg account.
Ruth’s Facebook page lists his occupations as attorney and real estate developer and states he lives in Fredericksburg. Ruth, a graduate of Brownwood High School, showed a Brownwood address on jail records after his arrest in January 2019 on unrelated charges.
The indictment alleges that Ruth misapplied money “of the value of $30,000 or more but less than $150,000” that Ruth held as a fiduciary. Ruth deposited the check “into the bank account of M. Sloan Ruth when the defendant was not a signer for said account,” the indictment alleges.
“We have many bank accounts,” Ruth posted on Facebook. "At no time did I (or my wife) seek to deposit this check in the wrong account. Moreover, I rarely make deposits and most certainly did not make this particular deposit.
“This was obviously a bank error. … Not to get the bank teller or my wife in trouble but I had nothing to do with this check being deposited into the wrong account.”
Misapplication of fiduciary property is a third degree felony with a sentencing range of two to 10 years.
The November grand jury also returned misdemeanor indictments against Ruth for resisting arrest and evading arrest, and a felony indictment for assault of a peace officer, courthouse documents made public earlier this week stated.
Ruth was arrested in January after two deputies encountered him at his mother’s home on County Road 233 and told him they were serving a warrant for contempt of court, sheriff’s officials said earlier.