July 26, 2014 at 12:45 PM
A Philadelphia woman allegedly cashed $2,000 in bad checks at Freedom Credit Union in Lansdale July 21 and now faces felony forgery and theft charges, among other offenses.
Jennifer Burke, 24, of the unit block of Poplar Drive, is charged with two felony counts each of forgery, theft and receiving stolen property, two misdemeanor counts of writing bad checks and one misdemeanor charge of possessing an instrument of crime, according to the affidavit.
Burke is free on 10 percent of $10,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. before District Judge Kathleen Valentine.
Burke allegedly wrote two checks drawn on a non-existent Bank of America account, in the amounts of $1,630.49 and $1,473.07, police said.
The credit union supervisor told police that Burke presented two fraudulent checks, which were written out to her, police said.
The checks were cashed and $2,000 was given to Burke, police said. The remaining money was deposited in Burke’s bank account, police said.
The checks were from Santos Construction of Norristown, Pa., police said. Freedom Credit Union loss prevention officers said the Bank of America account was a closed account.
The loss prevention officer set up a trap for Burke: She was contacted and told she forgot to sign one of the checks, according to the affidavit. She was asked to come back and sign it.
Burke showed up at Freedom Credit Union on East Main Street on July 22, at which time, the bank supervisor called Lansdale Police.
Burke admitted to presenting the two checks to the bank and receiving $2,000, police said. She told police she works for Santos Construction doing tree work and payroll, police said.
Police said Burke then admitted that she does not work.
Burke told police she was in Philadelphia, waiting for the “EL” (train), when a black male approached and told her he had two checks he needed cashed, police said. He asked Burke to cash them for her, and then meet him at the same location to turn the money over, police said.
She told police she cashed the checks, met the man and turned over “all of it,” police said.
A search of Burke’s purse uncovered another check drawn on a Bank of America account for $312, written to Burke, police said. The check was written for Walter S. Santos Sole Prop, D/B/A Santos Construction, 117 S. Marshall St., Norristown, police said.
Police said the address coincided with a woman named Cassondra Felini, who was identified as the woman waiting in Burke’s car in the parking lot of Hillcrest Plaza shopping center, where the credit union is located.
Bank of America verified that account drawn on the checks does not exist, police said.
According to Montgomery County court records, Burke is awaiting an Aug. 19 preliminary hearing in Pottstown on numerous bad checks, theft and receiving stolen property charges stemming from an Aug. 26, 2013 incident.