The Citrus County Sherriff’s Office arrested a 25-year-old Lecanto, Florida woman and a 29-year-old Beverly Hills, FL man for scheming to defraud, criminal conspiracy and giving worthless checks.
A deputy arrived at a Publix Supermarket in Inverness, FL after receiving a call from the store manager regarding a woman trying to return purchases made with a check for cash. The manager told the deputy that the checks the woman was using were from an account that allegedly had insufficient funds.
According to the Citrus County Chronicle, the woman and her boyfriend had been buying items at local Publix supermarkets with worthless checks and then going to different Publix stores to return the items for cash.
It is the understanding of law enforcement that an account was opened for $50 on April 1, 2011. Further, the allegation is a total of $530.77 that was written on this account and the total cash refunds were for $167.90.
According to the arrest report, the man and woman took turns making purchases and returning items.
The couple was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility in Lecanto. Her bond was set at $4,100; his bond was set $3,500.
In Florida, you could face a worthless check charge by writing a check with reasonable knowledge that the check won’t clear or the account has been closed. The charge of Worthless Checks is a first degree misdemeanor carrying a potential jail sentence of up to one year and fines of no more than $1,000. If a single worthless check is more than $150 or multiple bad checks written total more than $150, you will face third degree felony charges with a potential sentence of five years in prison.
Many people bounce checks due to difficult financial situations. Due to a miscalculation of funds or a simple error in balancing their checkbook, people can write checks that bounce and end up facing criminal charges. Under Florida law, unknowingly writing a bad check can be a defense to a worthless checks crime. If the person cashing the check was notified there were insufficient funds available at the time of receipt, this too can be a defense to a worthless check charge and may prevent prosecution under Florida law.