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Mandeville police search for check forgery suspects

A fraud scam similar to others in Terrebonne and East Baton Rouge Parishes reportedly has Mandeville police looking for several individuals suspected of forging checks. Police were apparently notified of the scam after forged checks were reported at a convenience store in Mandeville.

Each of the checks was written for an excess of $8,300, and drawn from an account at a Baton Rouge-based construction company. According to police, the checks were counterfeited from the company. So far, eight warrants have been issued over the scam against area individuals. Some are already in custody.

Check fraud punishments shouldn't be taken lightly. Depending on the amount involved, fines can be burdensome. There is also the possibility of imprisonment.

In check fraud cases, it is important to pay attention to details. Types of check fraud include check floating, kiting, bad check writing, embezzlement, and forgery. It is important that the charges fit the crime. It is also important that where criminal intent didn't exist, that it isn't inferred. Building a defense to this end is critical in such cases.

Something else to keep in mind about fraud charges is that they can be prosecuted both at the state and federal level. Federal court is a different ballgame than state court, and it is critical to have expert guidance when dealing with federal charges. Making full use of one's rights in federal court-including the right to refuse to make any statements and to testify at trial, to discover evidence against you, to make subpoenas, and to cross examine witnesses-is critical.

Source: Nola.com, "Mandeville police seek suspects in check scam," Bob Warren, May 29, 2012

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