CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More than two dozen people have been charged in a check fraud scheme that operated for years across the Charlotte area.

The U.S. Attorney s Office says the suspects stole more than $1 million from financial institutions since 2007. Investigators say they tricked the system by stealing or purchasing fraudulent checks from legitimate bank account holders. They would then deposit the worthless checks into various accounts, and the bank would credit the money. The suspects would withdraw the money in the time it took to process the checks and determine they were fake.

The suspects allegedly operated in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell and Cabarrus counties.

The U.S. Secret Service worked with CMPD in the investigation.

Financial frauds have been on the rise both on a national and on a local level, said Chief Rodney Monroe, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. With this recent check fraud conspiracy, I am so proud that our respective agencies were able to work together. Only through our partnerships are we able to bring about large indictments as this.

Each of the 27 defendants allegedly involved in the scheme are charged with one count of bank fraud conspiracy. They face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. All but one suspect is also charged with bank fraud.

Seventeen of them were arrested Friday, three are expected to turn themselves into police, four are already in state custody and three have not yet been arrested.

  • Phillip Gregory Harris, Sr., aka Cash P, 30, of Charlotte. (arrested) >> Also charged with aggravated identity theft.
  • Olwin Brown, aka Juice and OJ, 22, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Kevin Smith, 33, of Charlotte. (arrested) >>Also charged with possession of counterfeit securities, one count of possession of stolen mail and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
  • Renardo Perry, aka S-Dub, 28, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Jerry McDuffie, aka J, 31, of Whiteville, N.C. (arrested)
  • Craig McInnis, 24, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Yarral Wilson, 26, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Kalif Wilson, aka Scrap, 28, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Jarral Thompson, 28, of Clover, S.C. (arrested)
  • Jakari Rutledge, 24, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Martell Mackey, aka Telly, 26, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Jade Brown, 24, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Christopher Moat, 28, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Rashad Johnson, 26, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Quillie Smith, 29, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Keosha Mack, aka Kiki, 28, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Stanley Rutledge, Jr., 27, of Charlotte. (arrested)
  • Jordan Forster, aka 2-3, 26, of Charlotte. (pending)
  • Pamela Kerns, 26, of Davidson, N.C. (pending)
  • Tierra Love, 22, of Charlotte. (pending)
  • Anthony Woods, aka Gerod, 30, of Charlotte. (in state custody)
  • Tomonta Simmons, aka Montay, 21, of Charlotte. (in state custody) >> Not charged with bank fraud, also charged with two counts of theft of firearms
  • Christian Robertson, 20, of Charlotte. (in state custody)
  • Walter Boyd, aka Web, 26, of Chester, S.C. (in state custody)
  • Elijah Grant, aka Box, 28, of Charlotte. (not in custody)
  • Travis Gabriel, aka Gangster, 27, of Charlotte. (not in custody)
  • Demarcus Shankle, 25, of Charlotte. (not in custody)
Read or Share this story: