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Courts and Crime

Couple Arrested for Counterfeit Check Writing Scheme

LEWISTON, Maine — Maine state police have arrested two people in Biddeford in connection with a counterfeit check writing scheme. The pair are accused of defrauding retail stores in New England of about $100,000 including $30,000 dollars in Maine.

State police say they were tipped off to the counterfeit check writing scheme in September by Reny's department store. State police spokesman Steve McCausland says 36-year-old Kissie Whatley and 46-year-old Randell Bankston printed fraudulent personal checks from a Biddeford apartment using a computer program. The checks were then cashed at large retailer stores for gift cards and merchandise, which was later returned in exchange for cash.

"They were using not only false identities, but stolen identities, and some of those stolen identities came from mail that was most likely stolen from other states," says McCausland.

He says the pair are originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Police are planning to charge a third person, once that person can be located.