Fake-check scheme alleged in Somerset Co.

May 31, 2008 7:05:45 PM PDT
Somerset County authorities say it's the biggest indictment in the county's history: 407 counts charging 15 defendants in an interstate racketeering and money-laundering case. County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest says the group defrauded banks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Ohio.

The group allegedly obtained payroll or business checks, scanned them into a computer system and reprinted them with new payee names and check numbers.

They would use the new names to create bogus drivers licenses and credit cards, then use those as identification when cashing the fake checks.

Banks reported losses of more than $600,000.

The defendants range in age from 19 to 44 and live in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.