Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”
A man from Georgia has filed a criminal complaint concerning bad checks that were passed using his checking account information which have made their way around several grocery stores in the Charlotte area. Police say that Robert Merritt had his account information compromised and that two Food Lion stores in Fort Mill and another in Pineville were where thieves decided to spend Merritt’s money.
Authorities say that a total of $650 worth of bad checks were cashed at a Food Lion on Regent Parkway and another on Highway 160 East. Several more checks were cashed at a Food Lion in Pineville, NC. The checks were drawn against an account owned by Merritt who said that the checks were used to buy items of food at both stores and that suspects also made sure to ask for cash back with their purchases.
Merritt says the first three checks were cashed and cleared his account before he was able to spot them. The others were caught before they could be cashed and Merritt made sure to close the checking account for good. Thankfully Merritt’s bank reversed the transactions and restored his money.
Though he’s since gotten his money back, Merritt says the problem is far from over. Food Lion has begun aggressively attempting to collect money from him, harassing Merritt for the value of the canceled checks as well as an extra $25 fee for each one. Merritt says that he’s never set foot in Fort Mill or Pineville and has cooperated with their investigation into the matter, but that Food Lion continues to pursue him for money he never spent.
Detectives from Fort Mill say they have a lead in the case and have managed to locate an image of a suspect that was captured by a store surveillance camera. If and when the person is located, he or she will face serious criminal penalties for passing bad checks and for identity theft for stealing Merritt’s checking account information.
Though everyone knows identity theft is a crime, some people may not realize just how serious North Carolina treats the passing of a worthless check. In North Carolina it is against the law for any person or corporation to make, draw, or deliver any check for a certain sum of money, knowing at the time of making there were insufficient funds for the check. If the amount of the check is over $100 the person will be charged with a Class 2 Misdemeanor. However, if the value of the check is over $2,000, then the person who wrote the check could face a Class 1 Felony charge.
Arnold & Smith, PLLC is a Charlotte based criminal defense, traffic violation defense and civil litigation law firm servicing Charlotte and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know need legal assistance, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828.
About the Author:
Brad Smith is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses on the areas of criminal defense, DUI / DWI defense and traffic defense. Mr. Smith began his legal career in Charlotte, North Carolina as an Assistant District Attorney. In 2006, he entered private practice focusing almost entirely on criminal defense.
Born and raised in Charlotte, Mr. Smith is married with one son and one daughter. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, boating, golf and hiking near his mountain home in western North Carolina.
“Counterfeit checks used at Fort Mill area Food Lions,” by Michael Harrison, published at HeraldOnline.com.
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