Checks were stolen then honored by banks with sloppy forgeries

A business owner in northwest Harris County said someone stolen checks from his company.

The owner, Chris Barclay, called the situation comical but wasn’t laughing when he saw how they got away with it.

Barclay said someone stole three checks from the company’s mailbox and used mobile banking to cash them. The checks were originally written out to companies they do business with.

“The first alert that we had of our checks being stolen was from our trash pickup,” Barclay said.

The sloppiness of the forged checks is what bothers Barclay the most.

On one check, the thief scratched out the amount and scribbled a new amount, according to the owner’s documents. On the others, the person changed the amounts. On all the checks, the thief added the name, “Ricardo Roman."

Barclay was stunned that the messy forgery was approved by the thief’s bank and his bank.

“There is a flaw in the mobile banking system that they need to address, because if they don’t this is something that can happen to anybody,” he said. “Your check for your house, your check for your car, your check for your kids’ school lunches.”

In all, the thief was able to take $3,000, Barclay said.

Barclay’s bank has temporarily re-deposited the missing amount into his business account, but he has a warning for others.

“Try to get these checks and take them directly to the post office, mailboxes at one time or a secure thing that nobody messed with," he said. "Today, it’s just a different mentality out there. People are looking for an easy way to make money.”

Despite the bank temporarily depositing the money back into his account, Barclay’s wife said they will be switching banks as they await the results of the investigation.

Barclay has also reported the theft to Harris County Constable Precinct 4.

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