A Painted Post man was arrested March 13 after a lengthy investigation into check forging in several counties.
Elvin E. Brunker Jr., 41, of 3975 Meads Creek Road, was charged with second-degree forgery, State Police in Bath said.
The investigation began in January after a local business reported approximately $4,000 was stolen from its checking account.
The Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Bath learned someone had illegally obtained the checking account number and was producing counterfeit checks, troopers said.
State Police investigators from Bath, Olean and Horseheads later discovered the same person was using one of several aliases to write counterfeit checks to make purchases at several businesses and then returning the merchandise for a cash refund.
Brunker was identified as a suspect through video surveillance and eyewitness accounts, and local businesses were notified to be on the lookout for someone using the aliases to make purchases, troopers said.
He was arrested March 13 during a traffic stop on I-86 in Horseheads after Kohl’s Department Store in Consumer Crossroads Plaza reported the man police were looking for had just left the store, troopers said.
He was sent to Chemung County Jail on $50,000 cash bail and $100,000 property bond. More charges are pending in several jurisdictions, and it is suspected Brunker perpetrated the scam as far east as Sayre, Pa., west to Cheektowaga and north to the Rochester area, troopers said.
The investigation continues after a search warrant executed March 14 at Brunker’s residence allegedly found personal checks troopers say may have been stolen from residential mailboxes.
Several forged documents in the aliases Brunker was using were also discovered, as were check-making materials and receipts and items purchased at local businesses, troopers said.
Brunker is also wanted in Texas for forgery of a financial instrument on the elderly, troopers said.