Check forging ring accused of stealing $129k from local stores

The group left crumbs that were followed by enforcement.

Check forging ring accused of stealing $129k from several stores

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Alleged members of a check-forging ring were indicted Thursday in Hamilton County.

Authorities say they got away with $129,000 in items from several local stores before they were caught.

The group of seven started their scam four years ago, according to Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Andy Berghausen.

One of the main ring leaders had just finished a three-year prison sentence for nearly the same crime, Berghausen explains.

“It was her, her three daughters, one of the daughter’s boyfriends, and then two other friends,” he said.

The group obtained the checks in a variety of ways, then targeted Kroger, Target, Kohl’s and Buckle locations around Hamilton and Butler Counties.

“All of these stores have systems that are designed to catch bad checks,” Berghausen said. “What this gang figured out is all you have to do is change one digit in the account number, and they will defeat all of the bad check systems at the stores.”

The group left crumbs that were followed by enforcement.

“The main sources of their checks are accounts, believe it or not, that they generally opened in their own names, or in versions of their own names,” Berghausen said. “Does that make it easier to track them down? Yes.”

The prosecutor’s office says the seven people face up to 20 years in prison if they are found guilty.

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