Trip to Wal-Mart leads to break in check-cashing scheme -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Trip to Wal-Mart leads to break in check-cashing scheme

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By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - An off duty investigator on a shopping trip to Wal-Mart with his wife breaks up an elaborate check-forging scheme he'd been trying to crack for over a month.

Investigator Terry Kelly with the Morgan County Sheriff's Department happened to be in the right place. As he was checking out, a woman got in line behind him and started a conversation. The officer quickly recognized her as a prime suspect in a case he'd been working on, and he saw the check she was trying to pass was a fake.

Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett said she's a prime suspect in an elaborate check-forging scheme.

"Britney Sloan was there getting ready to go through the line also. He let her go ahead of him. He saw she had a check in her hand. He talked to her about it the check and realize who she was and tried to retrieve the check from her," Bartlett said.

Sloan grabbed the forged check written for over $450 from Kelly's hand and took off running. A man dressed in military uniform stopped her before she could get away. Kelly found over a dozen forged checks in her possession.

"They are putting these check numbers on a blank check. They use a computer software program that you buy and they are making their own checks," said Bartlett.

Investigators even found fake checks cashed in Tennessee and Georgia containing local citizens' account numbers. There were about $10,000 worth of those.

Bartlett said it was luck and good old fashioned police work that helped put part of this case to rest.

"It's one of those things you see somebody in a picture you know who you are looking for but you don't expect to turn around and be standing next to you at Wal-Mart," said Bartlett.

The sheriff's department first received word in August of the check forging scheme after the Northeast Morgan County Water Authority had several checks cashed through their account that they hadn't disbursed.

Warrants have been taken out for Denise Ellsworth Young, and more arrests are pending.

©2009 WAFF. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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