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Loveland Man Faces Charges for White-Collar Crimes

Loveland, Ohio man Keith Blankenship was recently arrested after an elderly couple entrusted him with a blank check. Lila Mae Thomas and her husband wanted to purchase cheesecake, chicken and other assorted meats from Blankenship, a meat salesman. Yet after Blankenship received a check for $800, he immediately voided it, claiming his name was ineligible.

Trusting Blankenship, Lila Mae signed a blank check for the meat-salesman to fill in himself. Mr. Blankenship then wrote in $3,800 as the amount, drove Lila Mae’s husband to the bank, cashed the check and gave the elderly couple a receipt with $3,800 written in very small handwriting. After closer inspection, Lila Mae realized she had been conned. If Mr. Blankenship is convicted of all charges, he could face a lengthy prison sentence.

Following are the penalties for forgery and identity fraud, two crimes that are often committed together:

  • Forgery — In Mr. Blankenship’s case, he faces charges for a felony of the third or possibly second degree since he targeted elderly persons. Had he not targeted an elderly person, he may have faced felony in the fourth degree charges. Depending on the exact forgery charges the State imposes on Mr. Blankenship, he faces between one and eight years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
  • Identity fraud — Depending on the specific facts of the case, Mr. Blankenship will likely be charged with some type of fraud. If he was charged with identity fraud, he would face separate charges in addition to forgery. Since defrauding the elderly is an enhanced crime in Ohio, the meat-salesmen would face third degree felony charges, up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Individuals arrested for white-collar crimes face serious penalties. If you are arrested for fraud, embezzlement, forgery or any other white-collar offense, consult with an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible.

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