By Cara L. Dempski
MENOMONIE — A Boyceville man has been charged with a second count of forgery-uttering after a check he allegedly used to open an account at a local bank was determined a forgery.
Zachary D. Morgan, age 31, appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court for an initial hearing on January 31 regarding a check he reportedly used to deposit $3,500 in an account at Peoples State Bank in Boyceville. The charge is in addition to an October forgery charge regarding a check made out to Morgan that was discovered in the home he shares with Lori N. Klund.
The earlier check was discovered during the execution of a search warrant at Klund and Morgan’s home in August 2016. The check used at Peoples State Bank is alleged to have been drawn on a closed bank account in West Virginia.
The criminal complaint for Morgan’s most recent charge indicates officials at Peoples State Bank accepted a $3,500 check from Morgan to open an account on June 10, 2015. The check was drawn on an account at Grant County Bank in Franklin, West Virginia. Employees at the Boyceville bank contacted Police Chief Greg Lamkin on December 2, 2016, to make him aware of a fraudulent check.
A teller at the Boyceville bank informed Lamkin the account Morgan opened was closed by June 25, 2015, after being notified the check was forged. Morgan had withdrawn $3,400 of the money initially deposited before the account was closed, defrauding the bank.
The bank provided Lamkin with copies of the forged check, the deposit slip from when Morgan opened the account, and documents indicating Morgan withdrew $2,000 from the account.
The criminal complaint further states Lamkin contacted Grant County Bank and spoke with the assistant vice president, Gale Vance. She informed Lamkin the account from which the money was drawn was closed on February 6, 2015, for fraudulent activity. Vance also told Lamkin Morgan’s check was presented to the Grant County Bank on June 12, 2015, and was returned as a “restricted account.”
She stated there were numerous other attempts to draw money from the account, even after it was closed.
Lamkin met with the head teller at Peoples State Bank on December 7, 2016, to discuss the case. The teller stated Morgan opened the account with a Wisconsin driver’s license, and he presented the teller with the $3,500 check in question. The teller initially found the check amount, and circumstances, suspicious, and contacted Grant County Banks automated system. The automated system confirmed the account the check was drawn upon was open and active.
The teller said Morgan was advised he had to keep $100 in the checking account. Lamkin was then provided with additional withdrawal slips indicating Morgan had taken out $1,000 on June 11, 2015, and $400 on June 12, 2015, leaving the required $100 in the account.
Lamkin was also presented with a letter the bank mailed to Morgan informing him the check he deposited had been returned from a closed account and he owed Peoples State Bank $3,400. The bank contacted Morgan via telephone and was told he would be collecting the money from the people who sent him the check.
Morgan never contacted the bank again.
The Boyceville Police Chief contacted the vice president and co-owner of CMI Corporation, the parent company of Grant County Bank, Marcia Kirk. She advised him that the West Virginia bank had a lot of forged checks on their accounts in 2015, and said she did not know Morgan or why he would have a $3,500 check from them.
Kirk told Lamkin the check was forged without Grant County Bank’s knowledge, and she wished to prosecute Morgan for forgery.
Morgan’s initial hearing was adjourned to 10:45 a.m. on February 28, 2016. A $500 signature bond was set for Morgan’s release. He is scheduled for a status conference on this case and a pre-trial conference for his prior forgery charge on March 28 at 2 p.m.
Forgery is a class H felony in Wisconsin, and can be punished with up to six years imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.