Articles Posted in Uttering

MS, a 47 year old female immigrant from Haiti, received a Notice of a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing from Chelsea District Court. The Chelsea Police had applied for a criminal complaint against MS for two counts of Forgery (checks), two counts of Uttering, and two counts of Larceny By False Pretenses. All six counts are felonies and all of the charges could lead to deportation. MS had absolutely no idea what the charges were about.

MS consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately went to Chelsea Court and obtained copies of the Application for Criminal Complaint and the underlying police report. The police had received information from a bank investigator that an account holder at the bank had noticed a series of debits in her bank account for checks that she had not written. The checks were forged. Two of the forged checks had been made payable to MS and had been deposited in MS’s account at the bank.

The police applied for a criminal complaint against MS. It turns out that MS had in fact opened a joint bank account with her son, who was a minor at the time. Some months after opening the account, the two large checks made payable to MS were deposited into the account. The checks were in fact forgeries. Attorney Lewin contacted the bank investigator and asked for documentation showing that MS’s bank account was in fact a joint account. The bank investigator furnished the documentation to Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin also asked for the documentation showing how the account was opened. The Account opening documents show signature cards for both MS and her son and the initial deposit was a work check from MS’s son’s employment. The two large forged checks that were deposited were made out to MS; however, they were deposited remotely online so there was no surveillance photos or videos to show who made the deposit.

In February of 2012 DW walked into the Credit Union in Peabody where he had an account. DW had 2 US Postal Money Orders with him – or at least what appeared to be US Postal Money Orders. DW deposited the two money orders which totaled $1,980.00. Several days later DW withdrew the money from his account. Sometime later the Money Orders were determined to be fraudulent and the Credit Union went to debit DW’s account the $1,980 but his account had no funds in it. The Credit Union went to the police and a criminal complaint was taken out against DW in Peabody District Court for 2 counts of forgery and 2 counts of uttering a forged money order. All four charges are felonies and carry serious penalties. By the time the Court mailed out a criminal summons for DW to appear in Court he had moved and did not receive the summons. A warrant issued for DW’s arrest. Three years later in 2015 DW learned of the warrant and went to Peabody District Court and got the warrant cancelled. He was arraigned on the four charges and his case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to September 30, 2015. DW retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover. (Attorney Lewin had successfully represented DW years earlier in a criminal motor vehicle matter in Malden District Court.)
Attorney Lewin immediately went over to the Peabody District Court and obtained a copy of the police report and the report from the Credit Union. It became clear to Attorney Lewin that there was no evidence or proof that DW knew that the two money orders were fraudulent. Knowledge is a necessary element of all the four charges against DW. The Commonwealth has to prove that DW knew the money orders were fraudulent. Moreover, there was absolutely no evidence or proof that DW forged or made the false money orders. Sure the Credit Union had him on video depositing the forged money orders but that is not proof that he forged them or that he knew they were forged. In any event Attorney Lewin went to the DA’s Office and told them DW was innocent, there was no proof that he forged the money orders and there was no proof that he knew they were forged. From a civil (non-criminal) law point of view DW owed the Credit Union the $1,980.00. But he was charged criminally. On September 30, 2015 DW and Attorney Lewin appeared in Peabody District Court. DW agreed to pay the Credit Union the $1,980.00 and the Commonwealth agreed to dismiss all the charges. DW walked out of the Court a happy man.

In 2009, DW, a 58 year old car parts salesman, gave a fellow a check for $1,500 that was worthless. The fellow went to the police and the police took out a criminal complaint against DB for Larceny Over $250, Forgery, and Uttering (all felonies). DB left Massachusetts and moved to Virginia and never received the summons to appear in Framingham District Court. A warrant issued for his arrest. Two years later (in 2011) DW learned of the outstanding warrant and contacted Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin spoke to the victim and confirmed that DB made good on the bad check plus interest. Attorney Lewin then contacted the police and the District Attorney’s Office and got the DA’s Office to agree to dismiss all the charges against DB prior to arraignment and without DB having to appear in Court. On April 5, 2011 Attorney Lewin appeared in Framingham District Court on DB’s behalf and the Judge went along and dismissed all the charges prior to arraignment without DB appearing personally. By dismissing the charges prior to arraignment the charges do not go on DB’s criminal record. It is as is it never happened.

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