ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (News Release) — Bond was set on Orangeburg man charged with more than two dozen counts of forgery at more than $94,000 during a hearing on Wednesday.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said James Middleton, Jr., was charged with 27 total counts of forging a local company’s checks. “We’re pleased with the bond amount for Mr. Middleton,” the sheriff said. “We thank the court for seeing this as a serious offense in that the money stolen from a business jeopardizes people’s livelihoods.”
In July of 2015, the owner of Gray Poultry Farm in Cordova reported more than 20 checks missing from his checkbook. The owner said his bank informed him those checks were written out in the amount of nearly $16,000.
However, the owner showed OCSO investigators the signature on the recovered checks for comparison with a genuine signature written well before the checks were reported stolen. The two signatures did not match.
Investigators were able to develop information that led to Middleton having written the checks out to himself and cashing them at a local business over several months beginning in April, 2015.
The amounts in which the checks were written steadily increased from several hundred dollars initially to more than $700 in each incident.
“Here’s a man trying to make an honest living and another stealing from him,” Ravenell said. “We’re happy to have put an end to this.”