Check gang caught in surveillance photos - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Check gang caught in surveillance photos

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

December 30, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Investigators want to warn other South Georgia banks to be on the lookout.  An organized gang of professional check counterfeiters cheated an Albany bank out of tens of thousands of dollars.       

Bank surveillance photos show six men who cashed eight counterfeit checks at Albany Bank and Trust between December 16 and the 22nd. 

Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigator Captain Craig Dodd said "It looks like a check cashing ring, possibly out of Atlanta.  Came down and cashed about $34,000 worth of checks locally.  They also hit the Dothan branches of this bank."

These are the counterfeit checks.  All supposed to be from the Consolidated Loan Company in Albany, and all had correct routing numbers and signatures of their officers.  But if you look closely, you can spot the phony checks.

"They actually misspelled the name when they printed the checks, and put 'Load.'  LOAD.  So that's something for other banks to be looking for," Dodd said.

Investigators think these men who cashed the phony checks are not from South Georgia, but part of an organized group traveling from town to town ripping off banks.  

"It's very common as a matter of fact.  And it's also very common to get hit by them pretty hard right before and during the holidays because there is so much traffic in the banks," Dodd said.

Investigators call the counterfeit checks very high quality, except for the misspelling, and warn other banks and check cashing businesses to be on the lookout.      

If you recognize any of these men or have any information on the counterfeit checks, call the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office at 229-431-3222 or the Crime stoppers hotline at 229-436-TIPS.

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