Denver Ring Charged In Counterfeit CU Check Scheme

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DENVER – Authorities seized $360,000 in counterfeit checks from four area credit unions and arrested 13 people in connection with a counterfeit check operation that allegedly enabled the group to steal almost $62,000 during a six-week period.

The bogus checks were drawn on Public Service CU, Bellco CU, Fitzsimmons Community CU and Aurora Catholic CU.

Members of the ring obtained checks and business account information necessary to create the counterfeit checks by stealing copies of payroll check stubs and copying legitimate checks, according to authorities.

The alleged ring leaders were April Cotton, 47, and Derik Romero, 26, who were accused of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Act. The pair was accused of numerous other felonies, including computer crime, theft, identity theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The two allegedly used computers, computer programs and computer peripheral equipment to create the checks.

After manufacturing the checks, the two are alleged to have distributed the checks to the other members of the ring, who passed the checks. The members who passed the checks repaid Cotton and Romero with money, food and lodging, according to the indictment.

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