LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — A Lowndes County couple is snared in a counterfeit check ring that stretches across two states.
Joan May, 40, and Leauntray May, 38, are charged with uttering forgery and Leauntray is charged with possession of a counterfeit instrument.
Lowndes Sheriff’s Det. Travis Robertson says the two cashed checks stolen from businesses in Tupelo and Tuscaloosa. Joan May’s daughter was arrested previously.
Tuesday, detectives in both states hope to arrest the two leaders of the ring, which involves as many as 20 people.
One Lowndes County business has lost more than $20,000 cashing the bogus checks which have been cashed in Columbus, Tuscaloosa and other communities.
Robertson says the leaders recruit people to cash checks for various amounts and then give them a small part of the proceeds. As an example, cashing an $800 check would net the person $250 while the ring leaders split the remainder.
Robertson says May’s daughter got involved when she met the scheme’s leaders at a Tuscaloosa night spot and they convinced her to get involved. At one point, Robertson says they recruited check-cashers out of her Lowndes County apartment.