Rise in Bad Checks

By: Amy Kehm
By: Amy Kehm

At Deno's Food Mart in Staunton, you can pay with cash. You can pay with cards. But you can't pay by check.

Owner Amir Mehood stopped taking checks about five months ago, after dealing with bad check after bad check.

While handling a pile of those checks, Mehood notes, "I have a lot of checks over here that the account is closed. And still, they write the checks. That's terrible, that's terrible! They know they have no balance and they know the account is closed."

According to Staunton Police Officer Amy Pultz, a bad check is any check that come back to the owner of a business as insufficient funds or the account has been closed. Pultz notes that Staunton Police have made 37 bad check arrests since the first of the year.

"I don't have the comparison for last year, but I would say that's a considerable amount," says Pultz.

Not only is passing bad checks inconvenient, it's a class one misdemeanor. You can get a lot more than a slap on the wrist. Pultz says you can receive up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.


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