Three get prison for passing bad checks at Tilton outlets
TILTON — Police have announced the sentencing of three men from Ohio and Pennsylvania who went on a spree of passing bad checks in Tilton in August 2011.
Sentenced and ordered to pay restitution to businesses in the area and nationally were Quentin West of Cleveland, Edgar Rose of Pittsburgh, and Omar Patterson of Pittsburgh.
According to Police Chief Robert Cormier, Tilton police received a call from a shopper at Tanger Outlets. The caller claimed to have observed three men writing large checks for large amounts of clothing.
The caller, Cormier said, was an off-duty Kohl's loss prevention employee who recognized something was wrong.
Police responded and then began observing the three men. In the next 45 minutes, the men wrote several bad checks to numerous stores around the mall, he said.
Tilton police investigated and learned the three men had been "aggressively shopping with counterfeit checks, using multiple identifications from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania to Florida," Cormier said in a press release.
When confronted by Tilton police, the men tried to flee the area in a rented 2011 Dodge Durango with Pennsylvania license plates, but were detained by police before they could get on the highway.
After obtaining search warrants, police arrested the men for passing bad checks in Tilton. Police later learned the trio was part of a large multi-state counterfeit ring which had written counterfeit checks at several major retail chain stores across the country using fake licenses.
All three men were arraigned, held and eventually federally indicted.
After two years, after local police worked closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and U.S. Secret Service, Cormier said, the case came to a close with the men ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $591,342 to U.S. retailers and serve out their sentences in federal prison.
Patterson was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison, with three years supervised release. He was ordered to pay $154,550 in restitution.
West was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison, with three years supervised release, and was ordered to pay $282,242 in restitution.
Rose was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison, with three years supervised release. He was ordered to pay $154,550 in restitution.
"The case was a classic example of organized retail crime and how large these cases can get, usually spanning several states and involving thousands of dollars. It is always good to stop a crew like this and get restitution for the victims," Cormier said.