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Crime & Courts

Trio charged with felony forgery at local bank branches

Fake checks looked real

ST. CHARLES – Two men and a woman were charged with felonies in connection with cashing fraudulent checks at banks in St. Charles, Batavia, Geneva and North Aurora, according to police reports released through a Freedom of Information Act request and court records.

Lucy L. Herron, 26, of the 600 block of Cass Street, Joliet was charged June 8 with forgery; Carlos C. Parker, 33, of the 6400 block of South Marshfield Avenue, Chicago, was charged with forgery with intent to issue or deliver and possession of forged documents; and Joshua H. Thompson, 23, of the 300 block of East Washington Street, Joliet, was charged with two counts of forgery with intent to deliver through St. Charles and North Aurora police, according to court records.

A third charge of forgery with intent to deliver was filed against Thompson on June 28 through Batavia police, according to court records.

If convicted, each charge carries a penalty of two to five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

According to police reports, First State Bank, 2601 Oak St., St. Charles, reported a fraud on June 7 where police detained the three and another woman who was not charged.

The bank employees had received a email alert regarding their customer, Illinois Lift Equipment Inc. of Cary, that numerous fraudulent checks had been cashed in the past week on the company’s account at the First State Bank branch in North Aurora, two branches in Batavia, and at the east side branch in St. Charles, reports stated.

Employees at the Oak Street branch expected to have fraudulent checks passed at their branch as well, reports stated.

The checks contained security images and features that valid checks also have, reports stated, and a signature that appeared to match that of the person who normally endorsed their checks. The account numbers and routing numbers on the fake checks were valid as well – yet Illinois Lift Equipment confirmed that the checks were fraudulent and that Herron and Thompson were not employees at their company.

On June 7, a woman later identified as Herron produced a check from Illinois Lift Equipment Inc. for $978.56 and stated she wanted to cash it, reports stated.

The employee said she needed authorization and told another employee to call police, and while on the phone with a 911 operator, Herron left the bank, but also left the fraudulent check and her state ID card behind, according to reports.

A St. Charles officer came to the bank and waited outside. After Herron returned to the bank, police began talking to the other occupants of the vehicle Herron arrived in, two of them identified as Parker and Thompson, reports stated.

While police were outside, Herron was inside the bank, and asked if the employee had permission to cash the check; she did and Herron endorsed it, took the money and left the building, reports stated.

Herron was carrying $978 in her hand and had a check made out to her from Evantston Golf Club in her purse when police stopped her, reports stated.

Herron told police she was staying at a homeless shelter in Joliet with friends who talked about making easy money cashing checks; she agreed to be included because she was broke and needed the money to support her child, reports stated.

Herron and a friend waited at the library when a vehicle with Thompson and Parker in it arrived and drove them all to a currency exchange in Bolingbrook to meet someone in another vehicle, reports stated.

Parker went to the other vehicle and came back with a white envelope that contained checks, handing her a check with her name printed on it, reports stated.

Herron said she was not employed by Illinois Lift Equipment Inc. and that she knew the check was fraudulent, reports stated.

A search warrant of the car, a 2018 Kia Sportage, revealed seven additional face checks for Herron and Thompson, drawn on accounts for Illinois Lift Equipment Inc., Menard Inc., based in Wisconsin, and Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, reports stated. The value of the checks was for more than $7,000, reports stated.

Also recovered from the car was a box of 50 blank stock check paper, reports stated.

Herron was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond, but when she failed to show up for a June 26 court appearance, a warrant was issued for her arrest with bail set at $20,000, 10 percent or $2,000 to apply, according to court records.

Herron filed court papers July 2 seeking to quash the warrant. A hearing on her motion is scheduled July 13, court records show.

Parker posted $2,970 bond or 10 percent of a $29,700 bail that was set; he is scheduled to appear in court July 13, court records show.

Thompson was released after posting $2,000 bond or 10 percent of a $20,000 bail that was set on the Batavia charge. Thompson was released on $10,000 reconizance bonds on each charge from St. Charles and North Aurora, court records show. Thompson is scheduled to appear in court for all three charges on July 26, court records show.

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