OREM — Police in Orem are looking for a man and woman suspected of ripping off the city by writing fake checks tied to the city's bank account.
“It causes quite a headache for the city,” Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez said.
Investigators say they know who the two people are. Shawn Laroque, 36, cashed a fraudulent check on Orem's bank account Jan. 30, and Amanda Dixon, 36, did the same thing a few days later, according to Martinez.
"Our detectives met with some family members and found out that these two are together, meaning they are living around together,” Martinez said. “Right now they are transient, according to the family, somewhere up in the Salt Lake Valley."
The city noticed a problem after two checks with the same number cleared.
The city mailed a check to a business in Orem for $500. The business cashed that check. The same check number cleared again with a different name on it, for more than $1,700. That fraudulent check even had a driver license number on it that led them to Laroque.
“We have never encountered it before,” said Richard Manning, Orem director of administrative services.
A city employee who monitors the account noticed the suspected fraud and flagged the second check allegedly cashed by Dixon.
"We immediately froze our checking account ... while we implemented some extra security measures," Manning said.1 comment on this story
Police are not saying how the the check numbers may have been stolen in the first place.
“They're going to continue to cause problems for us, as long as they're out on the streets,” Martinez said of the couple.
Right now the city is out about $2,400, the total from both checks. City workers are glad they caught the problem quickly or it could have added up to greater losses.