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2011 Archives

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. (Source

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 Tilley. (Source

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