County Program Can Help Victims Of Bad Checks

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The passing of bad checks continues to be a serious problem in Gila County, according to the Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores.

Flores and her staff have joined with area law enforcement and local business people to establish the Gila County Attorney's Bad Check Program. County employee Byron Cotney is coordinating the program.

In 2004, the program helped recover $78,953 in restitution for victims of this crime.

The program is available to any person or organization and free to all victims of bad checks passed in Gila County.

Issuing a bad check is a misdemeanor, and repeated offenses or high dollar offenses could result in felony prosecution, Cotney said. He added that offenders may avoid criminal prosecution if full restitution and statutory fees are paid in full, within a limited amount of time. The county attorney's office, however, reserves the right to prosecute.

For advice on how to avoid accepting bad checks or how to submit checks to the program, contact Cotney at the county attorney's office in Payson, Suite 202, 714 S. Beeline Highway, (928)474-4426.

The "Bad Check Handbook" is also available on line at www.gilacountyaz.gov. It includes: how to give notice to someone who has issued a bad check: it can be by phone or mail, and a form for the written notice is included. With phone notification, the person has 12 days in which to make restitution for the bad check and with written notice 17 days is allowed.

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