Mandeville Police working with the U.S. Secret Service have arrested 10 people for involvement in a counterfeit check cashing scheme, a police spokesman said.
The scheme’s alleged mastermind, 42-year-old Kevin Pierce of Slidell, has been booked on racketeering, money laundering, forgery, bank fraud, theft and attempted theft counts.
Pierce is accused of producing counterfeit checks and then recruiting others to take the checks to a Mandeville convenience store, where they would cash the checks and split the proceeds with Pierce, according to Det. 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 by using the counterfeit checks, Covert said.
In addition to Pierce, Escrelita Javery, 48, of Slidell and Tammy Jones, 47, of Hammond helped recruit, cashed checks and drove people 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 theft, attempted theft, bank fraud, forgery and monetary instrument abuse counts: Roneisia Martin, 18, New Orleans; Denise Martin, 48, 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.
Mandeville Police are asking for anyone who knows where Tammy Jones or Latiqua Rhodes are to contact the Police department.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter @faimon.