Final suspect in counterfeit check scheme caught

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The final suspect sought in connection with what authorities described as a scheme that defrauded several banks in Rhode Island and Massachusetts out of about $1 million has been caught.

U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman says 20-year-old Edmilson Rodrigues, of Providence, was found sleeping in a vehicle in a Culver City, California, on Aug. 19 with phony driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers and credit cards.

Rodrigues was among seven people sought in connection with a “card cracking” scheme, in which people create counterfeit checks and recruit complicit bank account holders who allow use of their accounts to deposit the bogus checks. The funds are then withdrawn before the bank can figure out the checks are fraudulent.

Rodrigues will be returned to Rhode Island for arraignment. No attorney was listed in court records.

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