Bad-check ring broken with arrest at casino

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 1, 2000

Detective Al Farrish shows some of the bogus checks. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

Vicksburg Police say they believe they have busted a a ring of counterfeit-check printers who have passed up to $5,200 in bad draws to local businesses in the past few months.

Two women, Ethel M. Cain, 33, of Cleveland, Miss., and Delphine Yolanda Davis, 34, of Memphis, were arrested at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Rainbow Casino after a clerk spotted what was believed to be a bogus check.

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The women, arrested by Detective Al Farrish, were in the Warren County Jail this morning in lieu of $50,000 bond each.

Capt. Mark Culbertson said the women were linked to 18 forged checks passed at Rainbow, Ameristar and Harrah’s casinos, Morgan’s Bestway and Wal-Mart over the past five or six months.

Farrish said the bogus payroll checks were apparently made on a computer and filled out for amounts of about $200 to $900.

Farrish said recovered checks were drawn on accounts of Walgreen’s, Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Penske Truck Leasing, Jackson State University, McCarty-Holman, Vicksburg Woodworking, Mississippi Valley Gas, Sta Home Health and Dixie Vending Co. He said all were similar to checks used by the companies and were discovered when they reached a bank and were returned to the business where they were cashed.

Farrish said city officers have made arrests involving similar checks in the past, but they were unsure if the cases are related. He said they were continuing the investigation and expected to make at least one more arrest, the person who is making the checks on a computer and printer.

Farrish said the bad checks have no watermark and some of the printing is not as good as on a real check.

He said many of the account numbers were for the actual payroll accounts of the businesses, but others were made up.

The penalties for passing forged checks can be stiff, said Mike Bonner, assistant district attorney. The maximum penalty can be up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each check.

He also said a judge could order a defendant to pay restitution.