Suspect accused of fake checks is now charged with the same for Ligonier Valley cases – WPXI

LIGONIER, Pa. — A suspect previously charged with washing checks and forging them in Robinson and Peters townships is now charged with doing the same to a Ligonier Valley business.

“A check was intercepted and that check was forged and ultimately cashed for large sums,” Deputy Chief Mike Matrunics said.

Ligonier police have not yet charged him but said he is already in custody for crimes he allegedly committed outside of Pittsburgh.

He is accused of stealing a check belonging to the Town and Country Ford dealership in Ligonier and of forging a handful of counterfeit checks for a total of $13,000.

“They’re just rewriting the actual value of that check, and the information on the check like maybe the person it’s for, it’s not really for that person authorized by the owner or issuer of the check,” Matrunics said.

Police say this suspect took this check and cashed it at the Commercial Bank and Trust of Ligonier, which is how they identified him. “In the particular case I’m dealing with, the individual actually used their identity,” Matrunics explained.

Police believe this suspect is part of a much larger network that targets checks in the mail.

Investigators have a few tips to protect you if you’re a business owner, and it starts with tracking those checks.

“Where are they going, when they’re cashed, whether they’re being processed or not. If you see something that isn’t being processed at some point, you might want to contact the vendor you’re sending that check to and find out what’s going on with that check,” Matrunics said.

Police said only businesses reported the crimes. Ligonier Valley police said their crime spree included nearby communities including Unity Township, Latrobe and Pleasant Unity.

They work with the district attorney’s office to handle these cases.

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