Friday, November 16, 2012

Check Cashing Scheme Targeted Publix In SC, FL, GA

ORLANDO, Florida -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Orlando Regional Operations Center charged nine individuals who were involved in an organized counterfeit check cashing scheme.  The group targeted Publix Supermarkets in multiple Florida locations as well as Georgia and South Carolina.  Authorities estimate over 1,000 counterfeit checks were cashed by the group, resulting in losses to Publix of approximately $650,000.



According to agents, and with the assistance of investigators with Publix, the eight-month investigation alleges that the suspected individuals, including one from Brevard County, worked together to manufacture and then distribute counterfeit payroll checks at respective Publix stores.


The following individuals have been charged:

1.       Leon Stovall, 34, of Orlando, for one count of grand theft in excess of $100,000 and one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft.
2.       Jeffrey Hodge, 59, of Orlando, for one count of grand theft in excess of $20,000.
3.       Michael Shechtman, 21, of Orlando, for one count of grand theft in excess of $20,000.
4.       Maitland Sparrow, 35, of Orlando, for one count of grand theft in excess of $20,000.
5.       Khiree Price, 23, of Orlando, for one count of grand theft in excess of $20,000.
6.       Kristopher Harris, 36, of Cocoa, Fla., for one count of grand theft in excess of $10,000.


The following individuals are currently not in custody:

  1. John Kennedy, 21, is wanted for one count of grand theft in excess of $20,000.
  2. April Bursey, 35, is wanted for one count of grand theft in excess of $10,000.
  3. Andrew Leeman, 20, for one count of grand theft in excess of $10,000.


If anyone has information about this case or the whereabouts of the wanted individuals, please contact FDLE Special Agent Wes Mullins at 1-800-226-8521.


This case is going to be prosecuted by the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor.