From his jail cell in Virginia, a Jersey City man ran a counterfeit check ring that utilized dozens of runners and ripped off more than $140,000, Hudson County authorities said.
Leaders of the crew paid employees of legitimate companies to let them scan images of their paychecks. From those, prosecutors said, they produced fake checks that were cashed by the runners.
For some reason, the runners believed that they could avoid detection by cashing a limited number of checks per day and using their own identification, said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio.
Supervisors even drove them to the banks, then paid them a nominal commission, he said.
Before long, authorities heard from several banks, who provided surveillance tapes.
The probe, which began last July, continued with today’s arrests of more than 45 people — including supervisors, recuiters and runners — by detectives from DeFazio’s office and the Secret Service.
The accused ringleader, Ronald Peterson of Jersey City, is behind bars in Virginia in connection with another crime, DeFazio said.
He is charged with conspiracy, theft, and other counts in Hudson County.
DeFazio asked that anyone with information about the ring call his office’s Special Investigations Unit at 201.795.6400.
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