Six Columbia residents pled guilty in federal court Thursday to being part of a counterfeit check ring that operated in North and South Carolina. The defendants were part of a group of approximately 20 persons who passed counterfeit checks at various businesses across the Carolinas. Some produced and provided the counterfeit checks, others were responsible for locating individuals willing to pass the checks, and other members of the ring were in charge of entering businesses to cash the bogus checks. The groups used altered ID cards in an effort to disguise their identities. The also placed clear fingernail polish on their fingertips to avoid leaving fingerprints on checks they were passing.
Investigators contend that the group is responsible for losses of approximately $128,000. Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, plus an order to pay restitution. Additional charges against others are expected.