Seven arrested, one sought in bank scheme

The suspects; 36-year-old Toboris Buie of Raeford, 37-year-old Michael Blue of Fayetteville, 41-year-old Bruce McKoy of Fayetteville, 25-year-old Ronald Thaggard of Fayetteville, 43-year-old Escellia Thompson of Fayetteville, 28-year-old Shanee Burtwell of Room 129 Carolina Motor Inn, 22-year-old Sadie Ellerbe of Fayetteville, and 22-year-old Marcus Justin Allen of Fayetteville

September 23, 2011 12:04:34 PM PDT
Seven people have been arrested and charged with defrauding the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and a local bank.

Authorities said Friday that the group had been writing bogus checks against the sheriff's office since July that totaled than $16,000.

The checks were cashed in Fayetteville, Sanford, Lumberton, Clinton, Spring Lake, and throughout Sampson and Cumberland Counties before the scheme was discovered.

The suspects; 36-year-old Toboris Buie of Raeford, 37-year-old Michael Blue of Fayetteville, 41-year-old Bruce McKoy of Fayetteville, 25-year-old Ronald Thaggard of Fayetteville, 43-year-old Escellia Thompson of Fayetteville, 28-year-old Shanee Burtwell of Room 129 Carolina Motor Inn, and 22-year-old Sadie Ellerbe of Fayetteville, have been charged with multiple counts of aiding and abetting to forgery, forgery, uttering and obtaining property by false pretense. McKoy is also a registered sex offender.

Authorities are still searching for an eighth suspect, 22-year-old Marcus Justin Allen of Fayetteville. He is wanted on similar charges for his alleged involvement in the banking scheme.

Detectives say finance officers discovered the unauthorized withdrawals on a bank statement and reported the crime. An investigation turned up evidence that the suspects were printing counterfeit checks against the Sheriff's Office and cashing them throughout the area.

Most of the arrested have either received an unsecured bond. Others have posted bond, or remain in jail.

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