South Daytona Check Cashing Fraud Revealed
The Volusia County sheriff’s department recently arrested Carl Croyl for his part in a mass check fraud ring. It is believed that the accused and others stole checks directly from people’s mailboxes in central Florida. The checks were stolen from homes throughout Florida’s Flagler, St. Johns, Volusia and Seminole Counties and then altered and cashed, with the fraudsters pocketing the proceeds. It is believed that 14 other people were involved in this mass check fraud cashing ring. However, the Volusia County sheriff’s department investigators were able to track down Croyl after discovering his fingerprints on a pile of mail that he had touched. Research about Croyl revealed “a long history of association with the person whose name was added to the checks that were stolen and subsequently altered by Croyl and his criminal counterparts.” The mail check fraud committed is considered a violation of federal law, which prohibits both the theft of another person’s mail as well as the act of altering checks and cashing them, which is considered bank fraud.
The Mail Check Cashing Fraud
For months Croyl and other suspects had been driving around the different cities of southern Florida and targeting residential mailboxes with raised flags, which indicates that there is outgoing mail that needs to be picked up by mail carriers. The suspects would open the mail within mailboxes, which is a felony in itself, looking specifically for personal checks. When personal checks were found, the suspects would steal the checks and then alter them with a felt tip pen. Alterations made to checks included increasing the amount of payment from the check, as well as changing the names of different payees so that the thieves could cash the check.
It is believed that Sean Drawdy, and not Croyl, was the ringleader of the fraud group, and it was Drawdy who manually altered the payee names and check amounts through the use of a fine-tipped marker. However, Croyl’s part in the check fraud was revealed after a Port Orange resident discovered several pieces of opened mail at the bottom of her garbage can. The mail had been stolen from another location and then subsequently discarded in the resident’s mailbox. After the mail was tested for fingerprints that belonged to Croyl, it was discovered that the fraudster had a long history of arrests and run-ins with law enforcement. Currently, it is unclear how long the check mail fraud was being conducted. However, the discovery of Croyl’s fingerprints occurred in October of 2013, and Dayton Beach investigators noticed a marked increase in incidents of stolen mail over the preceding two to three months. Another big lead in the case occurred in Edgewater after a resident reported that they had surveillance footage of someone driving a light colored car who was stealing mail. The mail that had been stolen consisted of several payroll checks amounting to over $7,000.
Mail theft and check alterations are both federal crimes that come with heavy penalties. If you need legal representation in a mail fraud suit or for any other white collar crime-related legal issue, contact criminal defense attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. in South Florida today.