UNION COUNTY — The more than $1,900 in counterfeit checks written on the bank account of the Union County Treasurer’s Office will not result in any financial loss for the county.
The counterfeit checks first came to the attention of law enforcement as a result of an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office that began Tuesday when Union County Treasurer Dianne Wilkins contacted Chief Deputy Perry Haney about some suspicious checks in the June bank statement for her office’s account at Arthur State Bank. The report states the checks were drawn on the Arthur State Bank branch in Spartanburg by someone claiming to be a Gaffney resident named Eddie Garner. The checks include:
• Check No. 3645 made payable to Lowe’s in the amount of $659.05.
• Check No. 3649 made payable to Nike, Inc. for $275.36
• Check No. 3650 made payable to Lowe’s in the amount of $732.31
• A check drawn on UPS in Gaffney in the amount of $283.78 and made payable to Eddie Garner.
In the ensuring investigation, Haney determined that the checks were counterfeit and that all of them had the account/routing number of the treasurer’s office on them. A SC driver’s license number was drawn on two of the checks but it was found not to be on file with the SC Department of Motor Vehicles. A driver’s license check was also run on the name Eddie Garner in three counties and statewide, but there was no information on file for that name.
Haney said Thursday that the investigation was continuing with the Gaffney Police Department now looking at videos from the stores where the checks were cashed to try and identify the counterfeiter. He said that Gaffney Police plan to find the counterfeiter and arrest and prosecute him for forgery. Under South Carolina law, counterfeiting a check is considered to be the same as forging a signature on a check or some other legal document.
While the checks were drawn on the bank account of the Treasurer’s Office, Haney said they will not result in any financial loss for the county. Haney said that once a report was filed with the Sheriff’s Office the bank was notified and replaced the money in the Treasurer’s Office account. He said that as a result the county is not out of any money because of the counterfeit checks. Haney said the only people to suffer any loss as a result of the counterfeiter’s actions are the stores in Cherokee County.
Haney said it is possible, however, that more such counterfeit checks are out there, and he urged businesses and the general public to scrutinize any checks bearing the name Eddie Garner, the name used by the counterfeiter. He said that if you see a check you find suspicious to contact law enforcement.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.