Police make 7th arrest in check scam case

Posted: Tuesday, March 04, 2008

JUNEAU - A seventh person has been arrested in connection with a string of citywide burglaries, fraudulent checks and forgeries that police say could have been part of an organized crime ring supporting drug activity in Juneau.

Joycelyn White, 37, was arrested on Feb. 13 in Anchorage on charges related to the case. Her arrest follows six others police have made since November, when one member of the alleged crime ring tried to cash a personal check at Fred Meyer store.

Police said the check was stolen.

Previous arrests include Cindy Hotch on charges of theft and forgery; Heather Schimanski on charges of burglary, theft and forgery; Nicole Richert on a charge of aiding and abetting burglary; and Vonnie Williams on 14 counts of theft.

White had been wanted on a charge of forgery.

Williams was identified by police as the alleged ringleader behind dozens of forged checks, including payroll checks from Taku Smokeries and at least one Alaska Permanent Fund dividend check sent to a Juneau resident's mailbox. Williams allegedly had people cashing fraudulent checks and then used the proceeds to facilitate drug activity, police said.

Williams pleaded not guilty and a trial is set for April.

The ring allegedly cashed a total of $18,257 alone in payroll checks before police made arrests.

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