Police say ring is passing fraudulent checks locally

Local authorities are warning the public not to honor certain business checks after out-of-town counterfeiters wrote more than $7,000 in bad checks in Richmond County.

Richmond County Investigator Mike Lanham said fraudulent Bank of America business checks from Premiere Nursery and Landscaping of Savannah, Ga.; Augusta Concrete and Construction Co. and All Pro Glass Co. of Forest Park, Ga., have all been passed at local businesses.

“They’re picking (names) out of the phone book and making them up as they go,” Investigator Lanham said.

He said the six men and two or three women are believed to be from Atlanta, Forest Park, Savannah and Lithonia, Ga. Authorities believe the suspects opened Bank of America business accounts, then printed their own checks. They provide false information and change the check numbers.

Investigator Lanham said the incidents date back to July 16 and have occurred at Publix on Washington Road and Check Exchange on Wrightsboro Road.

“One will come in, he’ll get his check cashed,” said Investigator Lanham, describing the group’s tactics. “Once he gets his check cashed, he’ll go back to the car and tell everybody else. Then three to four more will come in to get their checks cashed.”

The suspects were last seen in a brown four-door Buick. Anyone with information can call Investigator Lanham at (706) 821-1451 or the sheriff’s office (706) 821-1080.

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