Alleged Cash-Checking Scam Lands Three in Boca Raton Jail

Two Miami-Dade residents and a Miramar man are in jail, accused of depositing and cashing fraudulent checks, The Palm Beach Post is reporting.

Check theft charges in Miami can sometimes be difficult to prove for the state because knowledge that a theft is taking place is a required element to prove the charges.

However, it’s not uncommon for prosecutors to file numerous charges — making each check or incident a separate offense. Charges can really add up. These white collar crimes must be defended because the penalties can be severe. Consulting with and hiring an experienced Miami white-collar crimes attorney should be the suspect’s first priority. By seeing all the evidence the state plans to present, along with creating a solid defense strategy, charges can be beaten or reduced.

In this case, the suspects are 23, 26 and 41 and are accused by Boca Raton police of using fraudulent checks to open accounts at banks throughout Palm Beach County. Police say the three wrote bad checks to open accounts and then cashed checks against the accounts, according to police documentation. They allegedly took money from Chase, TD Bank and Wells Fargo branch banks.

After an officer spotted a vehicle carrying the three in an empty lot, the officer followed them to a second-floor bank parking lot. After pulling them over, he began talking with the suspects and asked for permission to search their vehicle. They granted it and the officer found checks, deposit slips, debit cards and hand-written business names and account numbers. The suspects are charged with organized fraud and grand theft.

What must be looked at in this case is the initial stop or confrontation between the law enforcement officer and the suspects. Simply being in a vehicle in an empty parking lot isn’t grounds for being a suspect for any type of crime.

The officer must have a real reason for following the vehicle and approaching the three to begin an investigation. According to the newspaper report, the officer didn’t even know there were several people in the vehicle. The officer thought only the driver was inside, the newspaper reports.

Whether the search was legal will be questioned; as should the notion that the suspects permitted such a search to occur.

No one should have to fear being investigating by police without them having any reason to suspect criminal activity. It’s against every American’s Fourth Amendment rights. If you are arrested and believe the police had no reason to suspect you were involved with a crime, consult with an experienced Miami criminal defense firm today.