Counterfeit check ring busted by DCP - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Suspect surrenders in counterfeit check ring

Sherriell Mansfield turned herself in to the Dougherty Co. Police Dept. Sherriell Mansfield turned herself in to the Dougherty Co. Police Dept.
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

Update: 37 year old Sherriell Mansfield turned herself in to the Dougherty Co. Police Dept. and is currently in the Dougherty Co. Jail. She's charged with Forgery in the 4th degree.

Dougherty County Police arrested three people they say mailed dozens of fraudulent checks across the state and stole thousands of dollars.

One of the suspects is an Albany tax preparer accused of using her clients' names in the scheme.

They told Police they were unsuspecting victims who thought these checks were "Blessings from God." But Investigators say really they printed up the phony checks made out to an Albany Tire Recapping company.

Last week Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators put out a warning about a phony check scam involving checks made out from Southeastern Commercial Tire and Recapping, a legitimate business on Newton Road.

The checks for hundreds of dollars were being mailed across the state. Denzell Brown reported to Dougherty County Police one of those checks had been cashed by someone using his name at Publix Supermarket.

 Dougherty County Police Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick said "Seeing the prior alert, the scam alert on TV, we were able to put two and two together. That, hey, this is the same check as the scam put out here."

Investigators found it was Brown's nephew, 47 year old Bennie Hunter Junior who had cashed the check. They then searched this apartment on Willow Wood Drive, the home and business office of 32 year old Naomi Johnson, and found equipment to make the phony checks, and determined Hunter and Johnson were the ring leaders behind the entire scam.

Kirkpatrick said "However they were making the checks for themselves and trying to cover up. They were acting like they received one of the checks and cashed it, as one of them stated, like a blessing from God."

Investigators say Johnson is the owner of Pro's Tax Service, which she ran out of the same apartment, and she used her clients' names in the scheme. Making out checks in their name and having others cash them.

Kirkpatrick said "Yes, actually, it was determined that other people are cashing the checks. And that Naomi and Bennie are getting some of the proceeds from it."

36 year old Larry Oliver was arrested for forgery, cashing those checks. And Police have taken arrest warrants for 37 year old Sherriell Mansfield, charging her with forgery also. She

Southeastern Commercial Tire officials tell me that Mansfield, the woman wanted for cashing one of those checks, actually called them, telling them how badly she needed the money, asking them to make good the check for her. They were considering helping her, until they found out about this counterfeit check operation.

If you have any information about Sherriell Mansfield's whereabouts, or if you get one of these counterfeit checks, report it to Dougherty County Police at 430-6600.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved. 

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