Check forging operation hitting local businesses for thousands

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 21 at 11:00 PM

(KMOV.com) – St. Louis County police are looking for a group of women scamming small businesses out of thousands of dollars.

Authorities say several women are working together to cash fake checks throughout the metro area.

Multiple agencies are involved in the investigation, and according to police, one person is in custody but at least three more are still at large.

“They’re experienced,” said Wellston Police Chief Thomas Walker. “They know what they’re doing and it’s our goal to stop them before it gets any further. We’re devoting extra manpower  to checking and educating businesses in the area that they’re out there and working the area.”

According to police, Wellston is just one of several targets.

Chief Walker said the scammers are also cashing fake checks at locations in Pine Lawn, Beverly Hills and even the city of St. Louis.

“It’s my understanding that one individual is manufacturing the checks and they’re supposed to be extremely authentic looking,” Walker said.

The checks are reportedly so authentic the theives are getting away with tens of thousands of dollars.

In one case police say they wrote a check for $6,500.

The suspects bounce from one check cashing place to another, never returning to the same one.

Police believe they’re also using fake IDs.

The fake checks are crippling the businesses that cash them. One owner, speaking off camera, says a woman came in and cashed a check for $8,000, and they’re trying to find a way to make up for it. 

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