Police: TCU victim of organized check fraud scam
SOUTH BEND — Police said they believe 11 check fraud cases involving Teach-ers Credit Union at the end of last year may have been part of an organized scam including several people.

The incidents were re-ported to the South Bend Police Department this week, but reportedly oc-curred from late October to December.

In at least one of the cases, according to a police report, someone opened an account and asked for starter checks. That person would then, in turn, write themselves a check for various amounts and deposit it in the account via an ATM and withdraw against the fraudulent de-posit, police said.

Capt. Phil Trent, South Bend police spokesman, said TCU likely doesn’t have a waiting period for a check to clear before money can be dispensed.

“This is something that happens a lot,” Trent said. “But because it’s organized like this, it makes it a little more significant.”
TCU released a brief statement Friday.

“We routinely file fraud reports with the police de-partment,” said Robert Shula, TCU’s head of public relations. “All financial insti-tutions file these reports. The security of our membership is always of the utmost im-portance to Teachers Credit Union.”

Police had not made any arrests as of Friday, although several people are listed in police reports as suspects.

The suspects are three 18-year-old men, two 19-year-old men, a 20-year-old woman, a 20-year-old man, a 21-year-old man, a 27-year-old man, 37-year-old man and an unknown man. All of the suspects have ei-ther South Bend or Misha-waka addresses.

The case reports range in date to Oct. 28 and Dec. 2.

It is unclear how much money was fraudulently taken from TCU. No more information was available through police reports.

Staff writer Tom Moor:
tmoor@sbtinfo.com
574-235-6234