Six people from North Carolina are accused of running a bank fraud conspiracy in which they recruited homeless and cash-strapped people to cash thousands of dollars in fraudulent checks.
The crimes took place over a four-month period in Brown and Outagamie counties.
Fred P. Allen, Keith D. Davidson, Mackel H. Gaither, Che L. Simons, Sequoia D. Southerland and Henry L. Wilder, all of North Carolina, are each charged in Brown County Circuit Court with various financial crimes, including being an organizer of financial crimes.
They are accused of running a type of organization known nationally to law enforcement as "Operation Homeless."
According to an amended criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Brown County Circuit Court, the group moved from North Carolina to northeastern Wisconsin and in July began stealing checks from business mailboxes that were used to forge checks.
They then targeted members of local vulnerable populations, such as the homeless, encouraging them to provide their identification to the group and then cash fraudulent checks with the promise of getting a small cut of the money.
The group printed the checks using routing numbers and other information from the stolen checks to produce fake checks that were made payable to those who were recruited to cash them.
Read more in the Green Bay Press Gazette.