A Milwaukee man who police said tried to steal $3,000 from a Kenosha company last fall using a forged check may be a victim of a “money mule” scheme operating across Southeast Wisconsin.
The scam, as explained in The Journal Times, involves crews of people driving up from southern states like Georgia and North Carolina, renting cars and then going through the mail of area businesses looking for checks from other companies. Once they have the checks, they duplicate them and then convince homeless people or others who need the money to go into banks to cash the fake checks.
U.S. Postal Inspector T.R. Williams told the newspaper “Operation Homeless” has been operating in Southeast Wisconsin for the last couple of years.
“They seek out the homeless or those down on their luck,” she is quoted as saying. “They drive these people all over the state and have them cash (the duplicate) checks.”
Jeffrey Johnson was charged in May with two felony counts of forgery and one felony count of attempted fraud against a bank after he allegedly tried to cash a check in October 2014 at Community State Bank in Sturtevant from the account of Kenosha Refrigeration out of Bristol, WI, in the amount of $3261.33.
Since his arrest, Johnson has plead no contest to a single count of forgery, and he is helping investigators identify suspects involved in the scheme, the story continues.
Online court records indicate he will be sentenced Oct. 27.