10 Indicted In Alleged Check Cashing
Ring hitting Wal-Mart stores in Kentucky.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. --
Ten suspects are accused of stealing thousands of dollars
from local Walmarts -- and police said that may just be the
beginning. All the suspects are facing theft, forgery and
organized crime charges -- 52 individual felony counts in
all. "It's basically a pied piper thing. This individual
would dangle a carrot in front of these people," said Dwight
Mitchell, a spokesman for the Louisville Metro Police
Department. Police said William Lambert, Jr., 31, would
dangle the carrots. According to police he would pick up
packages full of payroll checks at a FedEx office in
downtown Louisville -- sent to him by a relative in
Michigan. The checks had the names of real businesses and
real account numbers, but they weren't the real thing. "They
were definitely fake checks that were made out to look like
real payroll checks from these companies," Mitchell said.
Police said Lambert would then find other people to actually
cash the checks at Walmarts across Louisville. These
individuals would be paid a stipend out of the amount of
whatever the check was for. They would take them to area
Walmart stores all throughout the city and cash those checks
using their own IDs," Mitchell said. Police said the scheme
operated this summer, but was shut down once the alleged
ringleader was arrested in October at the FedEx office.
Police said their investigation is ongoing and there could
be more arrests. They also said the only victim in the case
so far has been Walmart, because all the checks were cashed
at those stores.
Elaborate check fraud operation shut
down that hit big box stores from Tallahassee to Waycross
and Macon to Albany.
Places like Walmart, Sams
Club, Office Depot, and Target in Georgia and Florida. If the communities had those
businesses, that's what they would target," according to
police. It's estimated the suspected fraudsters bilked banks
and businesses out of more $100,000 since 2009. Officers
also recovered fake ID's and out of state license plates.
Investigators say the suspects printed fake checks with real
bank routing numbers and real account numbers they stole.
They bought tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise,
some of which they sold on the streets. The suspects were so
bold, even a south Georgia sheriff fell victim to the
fraudsters. At Fitzgerald Police headquarters, the evidence
seized in the bust looks more like department store
inventory: Cameras, flat screen TV's, I-Phones, high end
purses, even children's clothing. They would steal the
account numbers and routing numbers. Instead of printing
them up on the bank they should go to, they would put
another bank on there in place of it," said Det. Sgt. James