|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - October 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Altered county checks part of larger probe
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – Four checks purporting to be Trinity County vouchers have been added to a larger, on-going investigation being conducted by the U.S. Secret Service. According to Trinity County Sheriff Ralph Montemayor, Trinity County Auditor Sheila Johnson discovered the four vouchers after local banks had cashed them. The value of the four checks was about $9,000. The sheriff said Johnson notified his department on Tuesday, Oct. 5, and he immediately opened an investigation. Two of the checks were cashed at Citizens State Bank, Groveton and two were cashed at Citizens State Bank, Corrigan. Montemayor said it was determined that two men entered the bank lobbies to cash the vouchers and he identified two “persons of interest” in the case. They were Roderick B. Johnson and Parker Howard Johnson Jr., both of Houston. Roderick Johnson currently is in custody in Angelina County in connection with forged checks passed in that county. Parker Johnson Jr. was not yet in custody, but Montemayor said investigators want to talk with him about the case. Montemayor said the U.S. Secret Service was notified of the four vouchers and said the federal agency had an on-going investigation into people passing altered vouchers in the Houston area as well as in other East Texas counties. This incident, coupled with a similar incident reported last month in Trinity involving 32 bogus Trinity Steel Fabricators checks, prompted Montemayor to advise that local businesses be careful with their checkbooks and payroll vouchers. The county auditor said Monday that the bogus vouchers would not be charged against the county’s bank accounts. “The banks will be responsible for the money,” she said. She said it appeared as if the thieves got a real county voucher, scanned it into a computer and then altered the information to reflect a new payee and amounts. The authorization signatures were left intact. Sheila Johnson said when the thieves printed out the fake vouchers, they apparently used special ink that allowed the bogus vouchers to pass through the banks scanning equipment.