On Sept. 29, 2010, a restaurant owner in Montgomery County reported a discrepancy in their payroll checks. The owner claimed that three payroll checks were cashed with a signature by a “Shawn Smith.” At least one was cashed at a TD Bank in Delaware, and another in Pennsylvania. All three checks added up to a total of $2,470.37.
The money was withdrawn from the restaurants account after the account number and other information matched up, the only problem was that the owner said the checks were never issued. The report led to an investigation into the cashing of the three checks and a man from Trenton, New Jersey, was recently arrested and charged with forgery and theft by deception/false impression.
Tellers reported that the individual who cashed the checks presented a photo ID with the name Shawn Smith. According to investigators, a real Shawn Smith did exist in Delaware, but when the officers compared the photo of the man with the surveillance videos that captured the individual who cashed the checks, the images didn’t match.
When the surveillance video, photo ID and photo on record didn’t match, the investigators distributed a still image of the man from the surveillance video. A law enforcement official from Ewing Township, New Jersey, responded with the information for the Trenton individual who was charged this week. The individual’s photo and the surveillance video appeared to be a match.
Media personnel from a local news station asked the district attorney how the payroll checks could have been “convincingly forged,” but the district attorney declined to comment without further review of the evidence.
Source: Montgomery News, “New Jersey man accused of defrauding restaurant owners with fraudulent checks,” Brian Bingaman, Sept. 13, 2012
Passing a bad check in New Jersey could lead to charges, but our firm is experienced in handling these highly fact specific theft cases.