Check scammers busted by Dougherty County Police
First Update (12/19/12)
Dougherty County Police officials say that Sherriell Mansfield has turned herself in.
Dougherty County Police have shut down a phony check scam that has been causing havoc for a Southwest Georgia business.
Officials with the police say that Denzell Brown reported his wallet missing on December 7th. Shortly thereafter, he received a letter from the Publix Supermarket saying that he owed the store money after they cashed a counterfeit check.
Brown took the letter to the Dougherty County Police and lead to an investigation by officers.
Authorities say the investigation led to search warrants being issued with and three arrests being made, including Brown's uncle Bennie Hunter Jr., who had stolen Brown's identity. Others arrested include Naomi Johnson and Larry Oliver. Sherrielle Mansfield is believed to be a fourth suspect also involved.
After obtaining a search warrant, officers recovered check printing materials from Bennie Hunter's apartment on Willow Wood Drive. Further information led police to the tax office of Naomi Johnson who was allegedly sending the fake checks to clients throughout Dougherty County.
"They didn't want to get caught so they would send out these checks to numerous people and to themselves so when the police came to them they could say 'oh yea I got one of them checks. I'm a victim too.' Well no you're the one making them," said Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick, Dougherty County Police.
Naomi Johnson has been charged with six counts of forgery in the fourth degree. Bennie Hunter has been charged with three counts of forgery in the fourth degree and one count of identity theft for stealing his nephew's identity.
Larry Oliver Jr. and Sherrielle Mansfield received the phony checks and cashed them for money. Oliver is charged with one count of forgery in the fourth degree.
Dougherty County Police are still on the lookout for Sherriell Mansfield, with active warrants for forgery in the 4th degree. Investigators say that she is a black female standing 5'9" and weighing about 240 pounds.
If you have information on the whereabouts of Mansfield, contact the Dougherty County Police Department at 430-6600.
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