Authorities investigating check fraud scheme

ALBANY, Ga. -- About 20 fraudulent checks have been recovered as part of a scheme that is likely being orchestrated by a disgruntled former employee of an Albany business, investigators say.

Capt. Craig Dodd of the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office says that letters have been going out that appear to be from Bankers Surveyors out of Atlanta. Enclosed with the letter is a check with the Southeastern Commercial Tire and Recapping's heading on it as an incentive to complete a survey.

Also on the check is the correct accounting and routing information for the company, which is based out of Albany.

Dodd said it is likely that hundreds of these letters have been sent out, primarily to residences in parts of the state located north of Albany, with them being postmarked in Albany, he said.

The checks recovered so far have been written in the amount of $700-$749.

Officials say the case is unique in that the scheme is set up in a way so that the culprit does not gain any profit from it.

"It is somebody with something against this company or the bank that is doing this," Dodd said.

"The company could be losing money. The main loser is the company because it hurts their reputation."

Flint Community Bank is the institution that handles the company's account. Dodd said investigators have a list of people who may be potential suspects that they are looking into. Specifically, officials believe it might be someone who was recently fired from the company who has knowledge of its accounting system, he said.

"It is a good check as far as anyone knows until it gets to where it is going," Dodd said.

It is estimated that this scam has been ongoing for four weeks or more. Whoever is responsible will likely be facing felony bank fraud charges, Dodd said.

Anyone who has further information on the case, or receives one of the letters, is encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at (229) 431-2166.