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DECATUR — A Decatur man was arrested after police said he gave another man a forged check to attempt to cash for him. 

The arrest is the latest in a series of arrests linked to an investigation into multiple forged checks stolen from Mattoon’s Lake Land College and other businesses located in Decatur.

A sworn Decatur Police affidavit said the 33-year-old man had handed over a forged check for $1,955 several months ago. He gave the check to a 36-year-old accomplice who tried to cash the check at a liquor store but the store refused and he then ran away.

Later, caught by police, the accomplice identified the 33-year-old from a photo lineup and police found and arrested him Friday. He was booked on a preliminary charge of two counts of forgery; preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

Writing in the affidavit, Decatur Police Officer Christopher Skalon said Lake Land College Police Department had reported five checks to have been stolen and forged. Two checks, for $580 and $616, were forged in the name of a Decatur woman who was arrested on a preliminary forgery charge July 9.

Skalon said when the woman was asked where she obtained the checks, she said: “Two guys I got drugs from and owed (money) to.”

Skalon said one of the men was then later identified as the same 33-year-old who had supplied the $1,955 check.

Skalon said all the stolen checks had been forged in the same way: “The original payee was scratched or washed off and the forged payee was typed onto the check.”

In May, a 50-year-old Decatur man had been arrested on fraud charges after his name had been added to an altered stolen check from Lake Land. The same man was also accused of obtaining funds from a $70,000 check stolen from a Decatur credit union.


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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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