March 5, 2010 in City

Massive check fraud ring uncovered in Valley

Police think suspect led up to 10 people
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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A multi-state check fraud ring police say was masterminded by a convicted methamphetamine maker led to the SWAT-team arrest of the suspect Thursday night.

Ronald R. Foreman, 43, is to appear in Superior Court today on one charge of leading organized crime via video feed from the jail and could face an additional felony for allegedly possessing methamphetamine, police said today.

Foreman is thought to be the ringleader of up to a dozen people who, since December, have been writing fraudulent checks in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, police said. More arrests are expected.

Court records show he was arrested on similar charges two months ago, as well as bank robbery charges in 2008. The robbery charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to eight counts of riot, according to news archives. In 2003, he was sentenced to 29 months in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine.

Foreman surrendered peacefully Thursday about 6 p.m. as the SWAT team was preparing to enter his home at 13718 E. 21st Ave.

Detectives think Foreman manufactured counterfeit checks and identifications “which were used by confederates to bilk banks and businesses out of thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise,” according to a news release.

Checking account numbers often were stolen from outgoing mail at residential and roadside mailboxes, police said.

“Victim businesses included Leo’s Studio, Our Golden Flax, Vorpahl-Wing Securities and Sterling Savings,” according to the news release. “Some checks were produced to look like payroll checks while other phony checks were used to purchase merchandise.”

Investigators also seized 15 computer hard drives, a safe, at least 13 laptop computers, a pair of flat-screen televisions and other computer components from Foreman’s home Thursday, which was wired with surveillance cameras.

Authorities found ingredients that could be used to make explosives at a building in Spangle, but no evidence was found that Foreman intended to do so and the substances were not seized, police said.


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