Colonial Regional police have made an arrest in the case of an Easton woman accused of successfully cashing phony checks shortly before last Christmas at the Walmart in Lower Nazareth Township.
The checks display the name of what may be a fictitious healthcare services company in Reading but the account numbers and routing numbers come back to a Scranton-area company that provides home care and medical staffing services to senior citizens.
Yolanda C. Santana, 21, is facing two counts of forgery for allegedly cashing two counterfeit checks for $398 each, payable to herself.
However, court records also say Santana allegedly cashed a total of eight checks worth $3,144 – all at the Walmart in the Northampton Crossings shopping center.
Two of the checks are those made payable to herself. Of the six other checks, two each were payable to three women with addresses in Bethlehem and Easton.
The back of the checks contained a driver’s license number that police later traced to Santana.
Santana is accused of cashing the checks on Dec. 14, 16 and 17. A criminal complaint was filed March 7 by Colonial Regional Det. Gary Hammer.
Santana was arraigned Monday afternoon on the two forgery charges and two counts each of theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
District Judge John Capobianco of Nazareth, who handled the arraignment, released Santana on $5,000 unsecured bail.
The lead sheet on the criminal complaint does not list an address for Santana. But another place in her file lists 1100 Elm St., Apt. C., Easton, as “other address.”
Of the three other women whose names are “made payable to” on the checks, one has Santana’s Elm Street address and the other two have an address on the 1900 block of Hillcrest Road in west Bethlehem.
The complaint against Santana does not say if the other women have been charged.
Hammer writes in the complaint that he got a report from a Scranton-area business – Interim HealthCare of Blakely – that someone counterfeited several of its checks and cashed them at a Walmart.
Hammer obtained copies of the checks, which displayed the name Express Healthcare Services of Reading. The complaint does not state if this is a phony company, although an Internet search did not list a company in Reading by that name.
An Interim HealthCare official told Hammer that none of the women whose names were on the checks worked for the company. The official said “he saw no reason they would have received a check from his company.”
Hammer also viewed Walmart surveillance video from the days when Santana allegedly cashed the checks. He said the woman on the video and the photo on the driver’s license listed on the checks showed the same person – Santana.