GLOVERSVILLE - City police are alerting area businesses to an alleged fake paycheck-cashing scheme that has led to the arrest of two people.
Detective Mike Calbet said the pair created and cashed fake payroll checks throughout Fulton and Montgomery counties and possibly in Schenectady County.
He said up to a dozen checks were cashed in Gloversville alone. Calbet estimated the amount on each check was between $400 and $600.
One of the two people arrested in the case, Amy Johnson, 22, of 39 West St., was being taken from the Gloversville Police Department to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department on Aug. 8 and briefly escaped by slipping out of handcuffs and running about 75 feet before officers recaptured her in the Cayadutta Creek, city police said.
In addition to forgery charges, Amy Johnson, 22, of 39 West St., now faces charges of first-degree escape, a felony, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, police said.
On Aug. 8, Bruce Jessop, 21, of 8 Williams St., Gloversville, and Johnson were charged by Amsterdam police with second-degree criminal possession of forgery devices and two counts of second-degree forgery, felonies.
Police arrested Jessop and Johnson at the Valley View Motel, where they were living, police said. The two were found with a digital scanner/printer, a laptop computer and several stacks of blank stock payroll checks, Amsterdam police said.
The suspects used a free online payroll software to make fictitious payroll checks and used fraudulent bank account information on the checks, Amsterdam police said.
Jessop was arraigned in Amsterdam and sent to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.
Johnson had outstanding warrants from the Gloversville Police Department, and Gloversville police took her into custody, charging her with second-degree forgery, a felony, and petit larceny, a misdemeanor, for allegedly creating a bad check and cashing it.
Johnson was arraigned and sent to jail on $50,000 cash bail. After her arraignment on Aug. 8, while being prepared to be taken to the Sheriff's Department, she tried to escape, said Detective Mike Calbet.
Calbet said the woman ran west toward the back of the police station's property and was apprehended in the creek while she tried to run through it.
Gloversville police said Johnson and Jessop were cashing checks at various convenience stores and Price Chopper stores in the area.
While Jessop was charged with alleged forgeries in Amsterdam, Gloversville police applied for an arrest warrant for similar activities in Gloversville, city police said. Calbet said today police are still waiting for the warrant.
The Gloversville Police Department is cautioning area stores and establishments that cash payroll checks to be cautious "as the payroll checks that were created using an online check-creating software were of very good quality," a news release from city police said.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending, city police said. Calbet said other people may be involved.