By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO February 6, 2004 The Sullivan County Sheriff's Department arrested four people on Saturday for allegedly running a large check forgery ring that has cost Sullivan County merchants in excess of $35,000.
According to the Sheriffs Department, all four were living at a residence on 349 Cold Spring Road in Monticello. Detective Don Starner said that they were all originally from Rockland County. He said that the four purchased tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods from Orange, Ulster and Rockland counties, as well.
Denise Rose, 32, whose listed address is 2299 Rt. 209 in Wurtsboro, and Scott Everett, 40, whose address is 7A Eros Dr. in Monsey, were also wanted in Indiana for thousands of dollars in check fraud.
Jeffrey Thomas, 42, and Jackie Rose, 19, officially reside on Cold Spring Road. Jackie and Denise were sister-in laws, but the mutual relative was not disclosed.
According to Sheriff Dan Hogue and Detective Starner, the group printed checks on a computer. They changed the ID numbers of the checks, which listed major banks along with the individuals names.
Sheriff's detectives were notified by the Town of Thompson Wal-Marts loss prevention personnel of checks being returned by banks. Deputies and detectives then set up surveillance of the Wal-Mart store on Saturday. That same day, Wal-Mart management recognized two of the suspects in the store. An undercover Sheriff's Deputy witnessed their transaction, and the suspects vehicle was stopped by uniformed officers.
Three of the accused are being held in the Sullivan County Jail. Denise Rose had her bail set at $20,000 by Town of Thompson Justice Marty Miller, and all are currently awaiting further court proceedings.
Starner alluded to the possibility of more people being involved, since more checks with other names were found.
Some of the local stores hit the hardest were Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Eckerd, ShopRite, Hannaford, Dicks Sporting Goods, Staples and Lowes in Middletown, along with other stores throughout the Galleria at Crystal Run.
Some of the purchases included computers, TV sets, a whirlpool, a salt spreader, a plow, beds, a dishwasher, cabinets, a sink, lumber, and two ferrets. Over 30 businesses have come forward with complaints so far.
Hogue and Starner said that these people were unemployed.
Starner added, "What you are seeing [is], as Sullivan County grows, we are arresting a lot of people coming out of New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania."