Baldwin sheriff’s office breaks up fake check ring

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MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Five Atlanta metro people are facing identity theft charges after the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office broke a fraudulent check ring.

Capt. Brad King tells 41NBC, the Baldwin County Commissioner’s office contacted the sheriff’s office in November saying it had a fake check.

“They said they had a fictitious check in the amount of $788,” King said.

A second fake check worth $744 was found in the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Inmate account.

“It had a fictitious signature on the check,” King added. “When people bond out of jail, any money they had on them or on their books we cut them a check for that amount.”

According to King, those checks were deposited into a SunTrust bank account in Atlanta. Investigators traced the account to Ronnie Massenburg. Massenburg was arrested.

King adds the deposits were made through an ATM. Video from the ATM showed Jarvis Green of Atlanta making the deposits.  Investigators also arrested Green.

King says two women were using the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office checks in several stores in Atlanta.

Investigators traced the checks to a Clayton County apartment where they found what King described as “a plant.” On Monday, investigators used a search warrant to look inside the Jonesboro apartment.

“Once inside the apartment they found a computer, check making software, blank checks, and many different identifications,” said King.

King adds they found a book filled with names and social security numbers. They also found two checks worth $78,000 and $76,000.

Investigators arrested three East Point residents at the apartment: Teisha Ponder, Johnesia Coffield, and Zachurius Honeycutt.

King said the fake check ring had committed anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000 of fraud.

All five suspects are facing multiple counts of identity fraud and criminal attempt of identity fraud

Massenburg has bonded out of jail. Honeycutt, Coffield, and Ponder remain in the Baldwin County jail.