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Rowe investigates check fraud

ROWE — The town is investigating possible check fraud after the treasurer discovered two January town payroll checks that were both signed and cashed twice — each time at different banks.

According to Selectmen’s Chairwoman Marilyn Wilson, the two Jan. 17 paychecks were made out to separate employees. Each check was made out for a sum of between $200 and $300.

The double-cashing of the two checks was recently discovered by Kris Nartowicz, the town’s treasurer since August. She discovered it while reconciling bank statements, Wilson said.

“They were both for the same department,” Wilson said. “Whoever it was, made copies and cashed (the same check) at different banks.”

“If the selectboard agrees, the next step would be to get a handwriting expert to look at the signatures,” said Wilson.

She said she did not want to give out the names of the people the checks were made out to, or their department, while the matter is under investigation.

Wilson said that the state Attorney General’s Office advised the Board of Selectmen to do a fraud investigation, and the board authorized Wilson to research what a fraud investigation would involve. She said she has met with a fraud investigator at Melanson & Heath Certified Public Accountants. In the town’s newsletter, Wilson has said that Nartowicz “has the skills to perform this examination. It will save time and money to do this in-house.”

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at: dbroncaccio@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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