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Four arrested in relation to counterfeit checks being negotiated for the past three months

Counterfeit checks negotiated in Lafayette area as well as Calcasieu Parish

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 6:18pm

Over the last three months counterfeit checks have been negotiated within the Lafayette area.  Over the course of an investigation it was discovered that similar checks were negotiated in Calcasieu parish.  With the partnering of the United States Secret Service task force encompassing the Lafayette Police Department and the Louisiana State Police, four suspects were identified and arrested.  Orlando Washington, Kwame Cunningham, Lavar Kittelberger, and Anthown Swan, all from Georgia, were arrested and charged with 29 counts of bank fraud, 29 counts of forgery, 43 coutns of conspiracy to commit identity theft, and one count of identity theft.

"Basically the suspects had a computer and a printer and they would get a hold of a company letterhead or a check.  They would duplicate it and put the amount that they wish to have it cashed," says Corporal Paul Mouton, Lafayette Police.

Once the suspects made the duplicate checks they would find someone in the area to go cash the check for them, and in return give that person a percentage of that money.  Authorities were able to apprehend the suspects from one of the locally recruited people.  Through that person authorities were able to track all four suspects down at a hotel in Lafayette.  Investigators recovered $155,000 in stolen business checks, $18,000 in cash, and $2,500 in equipment and proceeds.  Investigators also arrested several men who were recruited locally by the suspects to cash the counterfeit checks.  Anyone with any additional information or may have been the victim of a commercial business check crime is encouraged to call the Lafayette Police Department.  The case remains under investigation.

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