Spokane man has been charged with leading organized crime for an alleged counterfeit check operation.
Henry Patrick Bevans III, 28, pleaded not guilty today to the felony charge in Spokane County Superior Court where he was sentenced in October to a year in jail for drug and escape from community custody charges.
The investigation by U.S. Postal Inspector Shannon Saylor, a member of the Financial Crimes Task Force, began when a Jiffy Lube corporate employee reported to police in October 2010 that someone had used the business' Banner Bank account to manufacture counterfeit payroll checks.
The checks, between $487 and $2,230, were cashed at locations in Spokane and Spokane Valley. But the business notified police when the checks were returned as counterfeit. In November 2010, police arrested Bevans on a felony warrant at 2820 N. Cherry and, along with methamphetamine, found items related to the counterfeit check operation after obtaining a search warrant.
According to court documents, Bevans told police in January that he helped find people to cash checks for Ronald R. Foreman, who also is charged with leading organized crime. Bevans said a lot of people owed him money for drug debt. (Bevans was arrested again in March after a feed store employee noted his lack of teeth when he purchased two pounds of a substance commonly used to cut methamphetamine.)
Leading organized crime charge can carry 10 to 15 years in prison. The charge alleges a defendant directed three or more people to participate in criminal activity. Bevans is accused of directing eight people to cash the counterfeit checks, according to court documents.
Facing theft and/or forgery charges are Artem G. Kuznetsov, 20; Jenelle L. Cuculich, 25; Charles E. Spetter, 47; Jessica R. Edie, 24; Jeremy L. Cronk, 27; Jayde M. Hines, 26; Ryan L. McDowell, 25; and Erin R. Fredrick, 23.