Brookston man charged with check forgeryA Brookston man was charged with felony check forgery after an undercover police investigation caught him red handed.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A Brookston man was charged with felony check forgery after an undercover police investigation caught him red handed.
With the assistance of an officer from the Lake Superior Drug Task Force, the Cloquet Police Department arrested John Gregory Maio, 49, for check forgery Friday, Aug. 10.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were tipped off that Maio was running a check forgery operation out of the city of Cloquet. Officers then used an undercover agent to work alongside Maio as he drafted a $1,200 check on the bank account of another individual. Maio allegedly instructed the undercover agent to deposit the check in his own account at a local credit union and request $800 back immediately. The undercover agent recorded the entire conversation, according to the Cloquet Police Department.
After the transaction took place, police arrested Maio.
According to the criminal complaint, following his arrest Maio admitted he had long partaken in the scam on other banks in the Arrowhead region. He enlisted the help of individuals – not concerned with their own credit status – to deposit the checks, getting $800 back out of each $1,200 check before the bank actually cleared the check. The two would then split the $800.
In Carlton County Court Friday, Assistant Carlton County Attorney Michael Boese informed Carlton County Judge Dale Wolf that Maio had between six and seven criminal history points, many from financial crimes in the past. In addition, the prosecuting attorney added, Maio has 39 prior cases and 18 prior warrants issued.
“Past practice shows he probably would renew his financial crimes as soon as he is released from jail,” Boese said, requesting bail be set at $50,000, or $5,000 cash.
Wolf complied with Boese’s request, noting that he was concerned with the high number of prior warrants on Maio’s record.
An omnibus hearing for Maio is set for Monday, Sept. 10, in Carlton County Court.