Prosecutors Aim to Help Businesses and Deter Bad Checks as Holidays Approach

Since it is the holiday season, Attorney General Martha Coakley is reminding consumers and businesses about Massachusetts laws regarding return policies and final sales, and prosecutors are focusing on fraud and bad checks.

District Attorney Daniel F. Conley is offering help to Suffolk County businesses (those located in Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop) to cover bad checks and get the offender credit counseling. The idea is that many bad check cases can be resolved without using the time and resources that criminal prosecutions require.

Conley’s plan is called the Bad Check Restitution Program, and its main goal is to get restitution for local businesses and simultaneously deter repeat offenders. Specifically, a mandatory intervention class (in addition to restitution) is available for first time bad check offenders. Such offenders will have to complete the class at their own expense.

In Massachusetts, writing a bad check is a crime called “larceny by check” where the person knew at the time he/she wrote the check that there were not sufficient funds in the bank to cover the check and he/she intended to defraud the bank or other party. If the value is $250 or less, it is a misdemeanor. If the value is more than $250, it’s a felony. Checks for more than $2,500 will not be eligible for Conley’s program, but there are no minimum dollar restrictions for eligibility.

Source: The Boston Globe, Prosecutors offer holiday shopping advice for consumers and businesses

If you have been charged with writing a bad check, call Altman & Altman LLP today at (617) 492 3000 or (800) 481 6199 or contact us online. There can be both civil and criminal penalties for passing bad checks, and we can handle all aspects for you.

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