Articles Posted in Worthless Checks

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Ex-Orlando Magic point guard Darrell Armstrong was arrested in California Tuesday on an outstanding warrant stemming from an alleged unpaid $37,500 debt at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

The 43-year-old current Dallas Mavericks assistant coach is accused of writing a worthless check and theft deriving from casino markers or IOUs last June at a Vegas hotel and casino.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Armstrong is wanted by the Clark County district attorney’s office for his alleged involvement in the case.

Armstrong was apparently stopped Tuesday around 8 p.m. for an alleged traffic violation. He was arrested and transported to the sheriff’s Marina del Rey station.

He was released Wednesday afternoon after posting $40,000 bond set by authorities in Nevada.

He joined the Mavericks for the team’s Wednesday game against the Lakers, taking his usual seat one row behind the bench.

Florida Statutes define the crime of passing off a worthless check as writing a check with reasonable knowledge that the account it was written from has insufficient funds or has been closed. The State of Florida considers a bad check charge a “crime of dishonesty” which could affect your employment status even after your case is resolved. A worthless check offense is classified as a first degree misdemeanor if the check is written for an amount less than $150 and carries a potential jail sentence of up to one year and fines of no more than $1,000. If a single worthless check happens to add up to more than $150 or multiple bad checks written total more than $150, the crime is elevated to a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

There are multiple reasons a check may be dishonored by the bank. Should a banking institution stamp a check with any of the following memos, a person can be prosecuted under the Worthless Check Statute:

• Non-Sufficient Funds
• Insufficient Funds
• Account Closed
• No Such Account
• Account Not Found
• Uncollected Funds
• Refer to Maker
Unfortunately, simply settling your debt pertaining to a dishonored check, draft, bill of exchange or a debit card order is not a viable defense for the charge and does not mean your case will be dismissed. However, if the check amount is paid immediately the State Attorney’s Office may choose to not continue with prosecution. Even if a case has already been opened, a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to persuade prosecutors to drop the charges in exchange for a payment of restitution.

The victim of a worthless check may choose to take civil action against you for passing off a bad check. In fact, the victim may seek damages for up to three times the amount of the check. In addition, you may be subject to attorney fees, court costs and bank fees should you be found guilty.

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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.

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