The director of the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center is issuing a warning to all check-cashing businesses after more than 10 checks issued to released inmates were altered and cashed for much higher amounts.
Commissary account refund checks issued to inmates upon their release are the check that have been altered, Director Sid Stell said. Areas changed on the check are those showing the name of who the check is issued to, as well a their address and the dollar amount of the check.
“The checks have been cashed by several Oklahoma City businesses for large amounts,” Stell said, adding many were for $500 or more.
The header on the checks reads, “Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center Inmate Commissary Fund 2,” he said, and includes address of 14209 Highway 177. The checks also include a wrong phone number that is likely used for bogus check verification, he said.
Stell, who said between 10 and 20 bad checks have been passed, asks for anyone in the check-cashing business to watch for the checks and “document all information possible to aid in the apprehension of these criminals.”
Stell said Oklahoma City police have reportedly arrested a suspect in at least one of the passed check incidents.
“My concern is for the innocent merchants, they are the victims in this,” Stell said.
Anyone needing to verify or ask about any of these checks can call Director Stell at 405-273-0043, ext. 103 or 107.