Bank Fraud

The guy owed me quite a lot of money for work I had done a long time earlier, so by the time I had his cheque in my hand, I needed cash in a hurry. I knew my bank would cash it for me if I showed them evidence that it was for wages, so I produced some evidence. I drew up a fake payslip and filled in some figures showing the dates and times I had worked. I even used another pen to sign a squiggly signature at the bottom. Clever me!

I took the fake payslip to the Post Office and had it photocopied, then had that copy stamped and certified by a public officer as a true copy. Then I went across the road to the bank and cashed the cheque, as easy as you like.

It wasn’t until about three weeks later, when two detectives from the Fraud Squad knocked on my door, that I found out it was a stolen cheque. They asked me to accompany them to the police station to answer some questions.

“Are you arresting me?” I asked.

“That depends what you tell us at the station,” I was told.

“And if I say no?”

“Well, then we will arrest you.”

I thought it best to co-operate and tell the truth, so I went with them and made a statement. They showed me security video footage of the guy who had paid me, cashing stolen cheques at several banks.

“That’s him,” I told them.

And that was when they photographed and fngerprinted me, and locked me up. They took away my shoelaces and my belt and left me in a cell with benches bolted to the walls and a filthy, seatless toilet.

Ah, freedom… You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. I prowled around the smelly cell for five hours and read all of the graffiti, feeling very claustrophobic.

None of the police officers had mentioned the words “fraud” or “criminal charges”. No-one mentioned the word “trial” either, but two weeks later I received a summons to attend the Perth Magistrate’s Court.

When my turn came I stood up nervously and pleaded guilty to a charge of defrauding a financial institution. The Magistrate was scribbling on some papers in front of him. He asked if I had anything to say in my defense.

“I did not know it was a stolen cheque, Your Worship” I told him. “I banked it in good faith.”

This was when His Worship first looked up at me.

“Perhaps you should change your plea to not guilty then, Mr Dextrous,” he advised. “You should find yourself a lawyer and come back to defend this charge.”

I explained how I was guilty of fraud, by means of forging the payslip and presenting it as genuine.

“Fined $700 then, with three months to pay,” His Worship said, and banged his gavel.

And it was done: I had a criminal record.   

amberdextrous amberdextrous
51-55, M
15 Responses Mar 13, 2010

kinda different from the time you invited the fuzz into your blessed weed retreat.<br />
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wadja do it for dex.? why'd y a do it ?<br />
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shouda had a v8.

Well we all fall short and everyone has his own guilt. Never been to prison and never want to go. But it does say we are supposed to visit the prisoners> I know you are glad you aren't the other guy who probably did serve real time. It sounds like this could have been a costly event though.

That sounds fun!

Interesting story and observations in comments, Dex. EP doesn't seem to attract reformed criminals - but there is plenty of wannabe crime going on in its pages! Your conscience is obviously too good (explaining to the magistrate that you were guilty on a separate, as yet undiscovered charge). Classic.

Going to? I thought I already had, Polly!

You do have a nose -or perhaps an eye- for sarcasm, Polly darling.<br />
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You realise, of course, that you are consorting with a known criminal mastermind, and our association can only end in a hail of bullets? Bonnie and Clyde will have nothing on Polly and Dex when we go rampaging around in an old Ford, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor!

Oh sure, Polly! We all know you were one of the Great Train Robbers and you shot JFK.<br />
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EP is a bit like a diary, except in my case it usually chronicles events in my distant past. In confessing here, I do not expect absolution. And I guess in time other hardened criminals such as myself will join the group and admit their sins.

I must say, I was a little surprised, given the confessional nature of EP, that this group did not exist before I created it. I am also surprised that no-one else has joined it...

There was no partcularly memorable graffiti, Poll. As I recall it was mostly of the "Cops are ...." variety.<br />
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I had to have police clearance for my last couple of jobs, Stevester, and had to write a letter of explanation to my employer recounting details of my crime. Because it was over 10 years ago now, I could have the record expunged, apparently. But with the behaviour of the banks lately, I consider a conviction for defrauding a financial institution to be a badge of honour!

you're lucky the record didn't prevent you getting work. If I had a criminal charge agasint me I would never do the work I do.

Thanks, FFW!


Thank You, Polly my love. It wasn't too bad, but I know if I had had to be locked up for much longer I would have gone crazy. And if there had been others in the cell with me it might have been even less comfortable, depending on who they were and how they regarded me.

I also lost five hours of my freedom, Michelle, and gained a black mark against my name. Strangely, given the nature of my crime, it does not show up in my credit history.

Actually, Michelle, my case is proof that crime *does* pay: I was fined $700, but the cheque I cashed was for $1 200. And there was no order to repay the bank.