Hearing the checks in the mail could make Columbia County officials cringe.
Taxpayers barely escaped the loss recently of more than $64,000 in a sophisticated international check-forgery scheme.
Well, not too sophisticated: The forgers, who reproduced authentic-looking county checks and attempted to cash them in Bogota, Columbia and Madrid, Spain, turned Columbia County into Columbia Country.
The extra letter is about the only giveaway, however; law enforcement officials say the checks had all the right numbers on them - especially the amounts. Companies in Bogota and Madrid are left holding the bag because they accepted the bogus checks for $21,300 and $42,900. The forgery was detected before county coffers took a hit.
To help prevent such a thing from happening again, the county has since changed account numbers and is keeping a close eye on all future checks.
Taxpayers dodged a bullet this time. The countys effort must help ensure there is no next time.
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