FPD arrest 3 Detroit men connected to fraudulent checks
Frankenmuth Police officers have halted a large criminal check cashing and forgery case that involved financial institutions up and down the I-75 corridor, beginning in Detroit.
Three Detroit men are currently in the Saginaw County Jail and will face multiple charges, FPD Detective Sergeant Randy Flathau said.
The case began Tuesday afternoon, January 9, when the FPD received a Saginaw County Central Dispatch 911 call from the Frankenmuth Credit Union’s main branch office.
Inside the branch, a 22-year-old Detroit man was attempting to cash a “manufactured” check, made to look like a real check, however, it did not have a valid account attached to it, FPD Chief Don Mawer said.
FPD officers arrived at the main branch and viewed a vehicle running, with two men in the car. Their parking location made it look suspicious, like a get-away vehicle.
Officers approached the car and upon contact with the two men, smelled what they believed to be burnt marijuana. They took the two men, ages 36 and 37, in custody, as well as the 22-year-old in the branch.
Inside the car, officers found numerous payroll checks from a Detroit casino, however, they were not employees at the casino.
The three men facing charges are:
Lavell Columbus Holliman, 22, the subject attempting to cash the fraudulent check;
Demetrius Delano McQueen, 36, the driver of the get-away car and;
Jaramogi Jerome-Eugene Standifer, 37, the alleged owner of the car.
The threesome was, at first, not cooperative with the FPD back at the station. Later they confessed to attempted fraudulent check cashing up and down I-75. The Michigan State Police were called into the case as this appears to be part of a statewide ring. Search warrants have been obtained to locate the check manufacturing equipment.
All three remain in the Saginaw County Jail, each with a $100,000 bond.
“This would not have been possible without the watchful eyes of the Frankenmuth Credit Union employees,” Mawer said. “They were heads up, made the phone call and broke this wide open.”
All three have prior convictions from various Wayne County law enforcement departments. They include forgery, counterfeit check passing, carjacking, armed robbery, receiving and concealing stolen property, retail fraud, marijuana charges and various vehicle traffic charges.
New charges include 10 counts overall, comprising of uttering and publishing, forgery, conspiracy, attempting to commit a crime, operating a motor vehicle without security (insurance) and operating an unregistered vehicle.
McQueen told officers he purchased the vehicle in Saginaw, however, Flathau believes it was from Taylor, Michigan. He also has five additional fraudulent bank or credit union accounts in the Brighton, Howell, Detroit and Lansing areas.
The FPD has seized the vehicle through the drug forfeiture act.