Mandeville police working with the U.S. Secret Service have arrested or are seeking 10 people involved in a counterfeit check cashing scheme, a police spokesman said Tuesday.
The scheme’s alleged mastermind, Kevin Pierce, 42, of Slidell, has been booked on racketeering, money laundering, forgery, bank fraud, theft and attempted theft counts.
Pierce produced counterfeit checks and then recruited others to take the checks to a Mandeville convenience store, where they would cash the checks and split the proceeds with Pierce, according to Detective Sgt. Kevin Covert of the Mandeville Police Department.
The thefts began in August and lasted through mid-October. The ring was able to steal about $6,500, Covert said.
Escrelita Javery, 48, of Slidell, and Tammy Jones, 47, of Hammond, helped Pierce recruit others and drove them to the convenience store, Covert said.
Javery was booked on racketeering, forgery, bank fraud and theft counts. Jones has not been located but faces counts of racketeering, issuing worthless checks, theft and attempted theft.
Seven others are facing counts of theft, attempted theft, bank fraud, forgery and monetary instrument abuse. They are: Roneisia Martin, 18, of New Orleans; Denise Martin, 48, of New Orleans; Derrick Thomas Jr., 25, of Slidell; Lauren Hopkins, 26, of Slidell, Lakeisha Breland, 38, of Slidell; Jon Warren, 24, of Slidell; and Latiqua Rhodes, 32, of Slidell. All have been arrested with the exception of Rhodes, Covert said.
Anyone who knows where to find Tammy Jones or Latiqua Rhodes is asked to contact the Mandeville Police Department.