PIERRE PART — Sheriff's investigators in Assumption Parish are looking for a Baton Rouge woman accused of being part of a check cashing scheme that defrauded a Pierre Part grocery store, deputies said.

The woman, Sarah White, 34, 15335 Seven Pines Ave., was among four others from the Baton Rouge area implicated in the creation of fake payroll checks and then cashing them at the grocery, deputies in Assumption Parish said in a statement.

The others, who are from Zachary, Walker and Baton Rouge, have already been arrested in the alleged forgery and fraud, deputies said.

The fake checks were from multiple, actual local businesses and hewed closely to the appearance of true payroll checks from those businesses, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Lonny Cavalier, sheriff's spokesman, couldn't give a precise number of bogus checks that were cashed before the scheme was uncovered but he said each was valued around $700. 

Sheriff's investigators were able to track down the alleged fraud because those accused in the scheme used their own identification to cash the checks at the store. Investigators also used surveillance video from around the grocery store to track a vehicle involved in the scheme, Cavalier said.

Deputies booked Alvin John Johnson, 36, 7603 Oakmont Drive, Baton Rouge, Tuesday on counts of forgery, bank fraud, monetary instrument abuse and theft of less than $1000. Johnson, who was arrested Sept. 4 in East Baton Rouge Parish, was also being held for a police warrant in Church Point.

Others who have already been arrested on similar counts in connection with the alleged scheme are Garrett Hopwood, 26, 22741 Brittney Renee Drive, Zachary; Anthony Vega, 36, 12946 Tannehill Lane, Walker; and Tricia Cortez, 32, of 21430 Jon Michelle Drive, Zachary.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of White should call the sheriff’s Detective Division at (985) 526-1627.


Email David J. Mitchell at dmitchell@theadvocate.com

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