LaGrange police investigation continues into school system fraudulent checks

Published 11:30 am Saturday, January 7, 2023

A month-long investigation continues into how $250,000 in fraudulent Troup County School System checks were deposited and thus cashed all around the United States.

TCSS first discovered the fraudulent checks in December when reconciling bank statements. The checks were dated between October 2022 and November 2022, according to the school system.

Over a month later, the LaGrange Police Department is continuing to work with Truist Bank to determine who deposited the checks and where they were deposited.

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“The situation has been turned over to local authorities,” said Superintendent Brian Shumate. “We’re hoping for a good resolution where we can recover the money that we have lost. We believe our checking account was fraudulently used to cash checks around the nation. The authorities are continuing to investigate.”

Ligon said the checks were stolen after being mailed out locally. The reproduced checks were then deposited in various accounts.

“We’ve discovered that the checks were deposited outside our jurisdiction,” said Detective Milton Ligon, meaning it appears none of the checks were deposited in Troup County.

Ligon said Truist is working to investigate the locations where the transactions took place.

The name of the depositor(s) on the checks are still under investigation and are not being released at this time.

Ligon said they believe the goal of the fraudulent checks is both theft and money laundering.

“We’ve found that this has been happening a lot in other jurisdictions. The post office has been having a lot of thefts involving checks and credit cards,” Ligon said. “That’s been a big issue as of late.”

Shumate said the missing money has not impacted the school system operationally.

“It’s not affecting our daily operations at all right now,” he said. “We fully hope to have a full recovery of all the funds that were lost.”