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Bad Check Ring Busted

A huge counterfeiting ring that operated out of some Silicon Valley coffee shops has been busted by a coalition of police agencies.

Dozens have been arrested and more are being sought today in the case – which officials say cost Bay Area banks and credit unions as much as $4 million dollars.

It worked like this. A person would enter a coffee shop and begin a conversation with some of the patrons. Then – the person would ask one of the patrons to cash a cashier’s check through the victim’s bank because the person had no account. The victim would be offered a percentage of the check for helping cash it. The checks, of course, were counterfeit.

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mike Powers says so far the biggest single loss was about $50,000. Powers say 34 of 37 people named in arrest warrants are already in custody. Six South Bay police agencies were involved in the investigation.