In an effort to assist local businesses who receive bad checks that bounce, Hocking County Prosecutor Kyle C. Henderson is working towards educating business owners on how to protect themselves in order to minimize the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime, as well as learn about the steps needed to be taken for a successful prosecution against an offender.
"It’s important for business owners to collect certain information on every check they receive, including the driver’s license or state identification number, and it’s also important that employees know they should compare the picture on the ID to the check writer," Henderson cautioned. "No one should be signing a check except the person whose name appears on the check. Despite the hustle and bustle that happens inside a busy business during the day-to-day operations, it’s important to collect this information in order to decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime. Offenders can be smart enough to pick out the busy employees who might be less likely to check their information at check-out, in order to take advantage of them. It’s unfortunate but it’s true, and businesses should protect themselves."
Henderson issued the following guidelines that local businesses can follow when accepting checks:
1. To prosecute for writing a back check under Ohio Revised Code 2913.11, a merchant must meet the following requirements:
Check AmountPenaltyContact Person
$1 to $999.99First-degree misdemeanorHocking County Prosecutor
$1,000 to $4,999.99Fifth-degree felonyLaw Enforcement
$5,000 to $99,999.99Fourth-degree felonyLaw Enforcement
$100,000 or aboveThird-degree felonyLaw Enforcement
2. This policy should be used whenever the type of check includes one of the following: Insufficient Funds, Closed Account, or No Account
3. In some instances, a bad check is considered a civil matter, and a claim should be made in Hocking County Municipal Court’s Small Claims Division or through an attorney. A bad check becomes a civil matter in the following instances: Stop Payment, Payroll Check, or Two-Party Check
To obtain the policy, please visit the Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office located at 88 S. Market St., in Logan, or call the office at 740-385-5343.