Police Arrest the "Brains" Behind Operation Homeless Check Fraud

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email

Lincoln Police linked 22-year-old Derrick Andrews of Georgia to the scheme known as Operation Homeless.

Back in January, three transients were arrested for cashing fake checks.

The first was 54-year-old Paul Bellew January 25. Police say he and two other men cashed fake checks at two Security First Banks last Friday. It cost the bank $21,137.

The day before, they say Bellew was approached by two men who offered to put him up in a hotel and pay him, if he cashed the checks. After he cashed the checks, police say Bellew was paid $450.

The next day, police arrested James Thompson and Phillip Wylie.

Police captured video surveillance on Andrews at two different Lincoln McDonald's. They say he was buying food for the transients.

They learned the scam artists rented a van. Police processed that van and discovered Andrews finger prints.

"On March 18, the con popped up again in Lincoln," Officer Katie Flood said. "Three different transients were recruited and offered $500 cash in exchange for cashing those counterfeit checks at Lincoln banks. Only one transient was successful and obtained over $3,000."

Police arrested Andrews during a traffic stop. The three transients positively identified him.

They believe Andrews is working with two other men.

Lincoln Police say this scam is happening all over the country, costing banks tens of thousands of dollars.

"This group is loosely associated with other groups across the nation, committing similar schemes under the name Operation Homeless. Losses have been reported in Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri," Officer Flood said.

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