Check Scamming Suspect Surrenders To Police

PHILADELPHIA, PA (WTXF) - Police say Maurice Brown has surrendered to police after our FOX29 reports Monday night.

The hunt was on for the man police say is a part of a check scam.

It's a story they say should serve as a warning to watch your bank accounts this holiday season.

FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser joined us live from one of the banks where this suspects cashed these checks in Fairhill.

Police say when Brown and the suspects in this bogus check scheme showed up at TD bank branches across the area, they produced checks and a driver's license just like any other customer, then walked away with cash.

"The individuals involved are an organized group of check counterfeiters," Lt. Jonathan Josey of Major Crimes Unit told FOX 29.

Investigators for the major crimes unit say it happened multiple times at this TD Bank on City Line and other branches in the city and Montgomery County. Each time the suspects were caught on surveillance cameras. Each time the checks turned out to be counterfeit.

"It's very easy to do, check stock is available at staples or any other type of office supply store," Josey said.

Police say the 41-year old Brown and three others raked in over $10,000 with a simple, but effective plan to rip-off cash using bogus checks drawn on the accounts of places like Chickie's and Pete's. They counterfeited at least five fraudulent checks from the popular sports bar.

"Somehow they get a hold of these legitimate companies routing number and account numbers and they basically just manufacture checks with these account and routing numbers and they go into the bank and cash these checks," Josey said.

Investigators had been looking for Brown for weeks.

Three others have already been locked up. But even with these guys behind bars, the major crimes unit has a warning this holiday season. It's prime time for all types of schemes to get quick cash. They urge companies and consumers to keep a close eye on their bank accounts.

"Always consistently check your banking statement; also it would not hurt to get fraud alerts on any of your accounts. If anyone compromises your account or makes inquiries into your account you'll be notified immediately," Josey said.
The counterfeit checks ranged from $1,800 to $2,000. The suspects face Conspiracy, Forgery, Theft by Deception and Bad Check charges.

If you know any more information about this crime, the Major Crimes Unit would like to hear from you.