Saturday, September 04, 1999

Man, 19, allegedly faked check

Internet offers help to would-be scammers

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 19-year-old man is accused of passing at least one phony check made with computer software and blank check paper.

        Denver Melampy, of the Blanchester-Mount Orab area, was charged Friday with one count of forgery for allegedly writing the check at the Kroger grocery in Sharonville.He has been linked to five other bogus checks, police said. The six checks totaled more than $1,800. He has not been arrested.

        Investigators believe Mr. Melampy might have gone to a Web site and downloaded software to make the checks. Such software and special check-writing paper available at office supply stores produces legitimate checks, but police say Mr. Melampy used a fake account number and fake name on the checks.

        Jim Rechel, an assistant vice president and director of bank protection for Fifth Third Bank, said such Web sites are like “candy stores for criminals.”

        The sites make it easier to defraud, he said.

        A state trooper who had stopped Mr. Melampy for speeding on Interstate 275 near Springdale on Aug. 25 found four bogus payroll checks while searching the car.

        The trooper became suspicious because the name on the checks did not belong to either of the men in the car.

        “They were made out to a George Martindale,” said Trooper R.W. Noel at the Hamilton post.

        Investigators later discovered the five other bogus checks, and they linked them to Mr. Melampy, Trooper Noel said.

        “Technology and software companies and banks are working on ways to detect (fake checks),” Mr. Rechel said.


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