Area Man Allegedly Attempts to Cash Fraudulent $15K Check

Aly Delp

Aly Delp

Published January 29, 2022 5:31 am
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KNOX BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) — Criminal charges have been filed against an Emlenton man who is accused of attempting to cash a fraudulent $15,000.00 check.

Court documents indicate the Knox Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 35-year-old Dustin Jonathan Whitling.

According to a criminal complaint, on December 2, 2021, Knox Borough Police were notified by a local banking institution that Dustin Whitling had attempted to deposit/cash a check in the amount of $15,000.00.

Copies of the check were then forwarded to the Knox Borough Police.

According to the complaint, the check was made out to Whitling and was dated for November 30, 2021, and the issuer of the check was listed as a business in Georgia.

Police questioned Whitling about the check on December 3.

The complaint indicates he had received the check from an “online girlfriend” who told him her uncle had sent the check to help with medical bills and living expenses. He told police he was not aware the check was fraudulent. He also reportedly admitted he had never worked for the company the check was issued from.

According to the complaint, Whitling told police his only connection to his “online girlfriend” was their interaction online. He reported he had received the check by a UPS envelope and his “online girlfriend” told him to cash it, keep $1,500.00 of the money, and give her the rest of the money.

Police made contact on December 6 with the corporate treasurer from the company the check was issued from.

The corporate treasurer stated the routing number and account number on the check were correct; however, the check number was not an accurate number. He reported that the CFO of the company is the only person allowed to sign such checks and told police the name of the bank the check was drawn from was not the correct bank. He also noted that a total of 12 similar checks had been blocked by their fraud system between November 9, 2021, and December 6, 2021.

The following charges were filed against Whitling through Magisterial District Judge Jarah Lee Heeter’s office on January 27:

– Forgery — Unauthorized Act in Writing, Felony 2
– Theft by Deception-False Impression, Felony 3

A preliminary hearing for the case has not yet been scheduled.

Court documents indicate Whitling also has a case pending in Clarion County Court of Common Pleas related to an incident where he allegedly threw full beer cans at another man during an altercation in Clarion Borough. He is also facing formal arraignment in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on theft and related charges from an incident in Allegheny County in October 2021.

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