Police: Washington City man says attempt to cash $8,000 forged check was because he needed to pay rent

File photo of a St. George Police vehicle, April 17, 2020 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Officers responded to a credit union in St. George on Thursday after a Washington City man attempted to cash an $8,000 check that was reportedly forged.

2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only of St. George Police responding to a credit union when a silent alarm is activated, St. George, Utah, Nov. 18, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

 At 12:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to a credit union on North 3050 East on Thursday after the bank manager called police reporting a possible fraud that was taking place, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest. The suspect was described as wearing gray shorts and a purple shirt. 

Police say a bank employee reported that the man entered the credit union to cash a check, which turned out to be fraudulent, and while officers were en route, the man left the business. 

Officers arrived and spotted a man who matched the description of the suspect exiting the bank. He then continued through the parking lot on foot.

As the officer approached, the report states, the suspect was “acting nervous and was moving around a lot,” which is when the officer detained the man. 

Meanwhile, officers interviewing employees inside of the bank were told the suspect, later identified as 31-year-old Aaron Joshua Simpson, entered another credit union branch on River Road prior to Thursday and cashed a check for $2,000 that later turned out to be forged, according to the report. 

Simpson then entered the branch on North 3050 East and presented the teller with an $8,000 check on Thursday, which is when the bank manager, who was aware of the incident on River Road, contacted authorities, the report states. 

Officers then reached out to the owner of the account the check was purportedly attached to, who told police “he did not know Aaron and he had never given Aaron a check,” the officer noted in the report. 

While speaking to police, the suspect reportedly said he received the check from the account owner, but added there was also a blank draft attached to the check. 

He also admitted to writing out his name on the $8,000 dollar check along with forging the owner’s signature, police say, adding that he attempted to cash that check at the credit union on Thursday so he could pay rent as he did not have any money.

The suspect was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing second-degree felony communications fraud, since the suspect was able to cash the $2,000 check without the account owner knowing.

Simpson also faces two third-degree felony counts of forgery, for a loss that would have been $10,000 in total had his attempt to cash the $8,000 check been successful. 

On Friday, the Washington County Attorney’s Office filed the charges and added an additional second-degree felony count of communications fraud, bringing the total number of charges filed to four.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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