Counterfeit check-cashing schemes making local rounds

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    A counterfeit check-cashing scheme passed about $14,000 of worthless checks at area banks before being foiled by bank employees and by Nashville and Mineral Springs police.

    According to Nashville criminal investigator Larry Marion, two men who have been arrested are “homeless” individuals who had been given food, clothes and cash by an unidentified man who took them around to banks in Murfreesboro, Nashville, Dierks and Mineral Springs.

    Alert bank employees notified police about counterfeit checks, and at Mineral Springs, police chief Jeff Witherspoon was able to make an arrest.

    Investigator Marion said that he has received calls from Fayetteville, Jonesboro and towns in Missouri of similar crimes, and the same unidentified black male was identified from photos at the other locations.

    Arrested at Mineral Springs was Devin R. Jones, 25, black male, Wake Village, Texas, who will be charged with forgery in the second degree. He is being held here on bond of $7,500.

    Arrested later in Texarkana on a different charge was Jason Whitney, 41, white male, Little Rock, who is facing charges here and also in Pike County. He is held in Miller County and no bond has been set. He also faces second degree forgery charges.

    Investigator Marion said that one suspect told him that the unidentified man gave him $200 for each check that he was able to cash. The counterfeit checks were made up on local businesses, Marion said.

    Local police were first told of the incidents on Aug. 20.