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Richfield Man Charged With Check Forgery

James Trenton Powell is accused of trying to cash counterfeit checks from a Minneapolis company at banks in Eagan and Columbia Heights.

A Richfield man has been charged with attempting to pass counterfeit checks at banks in Eagan and Columbia Heights.

James Trenton Powell, 42, faces two felony charges for check forgery and offering a forged check, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint against Powell, Eagan Police received a report Dec. 22, 2010 from US Bank’s corporate security division that two counterfeit checks had been passed at the bank’s branch at Byerly’s in Eagan and two others at the bank’s branch in Columbia Heights.

The bank included surveillance photos from the transactions with the report. According to the bank’s documentation, a counterfeit check for $657.42, made out to a different man, was endorsed by that man, who offered it to a teller at the Columbia Heights branch Aug. 17, 2010.

A day later, according to surveillance photos, Powell attempted to cash a counterfeit check for $659.82, made out to himself, at the same US Bank branch in Columbia Heights. Powell left before that transaction was completed.

On Aug. 18, 2010 Powell and the second man tried to cash counterfeit checks for $659.82 and $655.91, respectively, at the US Bank branch in Eagan and the bank’s branch at the Eagan Byerly’s.

All four counterfeit checks were drawn on the account of Haldeman-Homme, a Minneapolis manufacturing company, but were not issued by the company, according to the complaint.

Powell has a long criminal record in Minnesota, with convictions ranging from public urination to disorderly conduct to theft.

He is scheduled to make a first appearance on the forgery charges Friday in Dakota County District Court in Hastings, MN.

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