A Syracuse man is under arrest, facing charges after allegedly stealing checks made out to a business and changing them over to his name.

The investigation began in June of 2021 when the Utica Police Department says it was made aware of several checks that had been stolen while they were being delivered to other businesses. The checks, for payments for outstanding service bills, were from Carlo Masi Distributors.

Authorities say that at least two of the checks were presented at the Bank of Utica.  One was disbursed in an amount over $6,800.  According to a written release from the UPD, once "Carlo (Masi) learned of the theft and fraudulent cashing they were reimbursed causing a loss to the Bank of Utica for the above amount."

Michael Mathew Stevens Photo Credit: Utica Police Department (January 2022)
Michael Mathew Stevens Photo Credit: Utica Police Department (January 2022)
Police determined that the checks were allegedly stolen from the Syracuse area, and, according to their investigation, "altered so that the payee was changed from the business to the individual Michael Mathew Stevens."
When the checks were presented at the bank, the teller secured the driver’s license and other pedigree information.  Consequently, the information from the person presenting the check, identified as Michael Mathew Stevens, was recorded by the bank, as is customary with many transactions.  Police say that this assisted with developing information about a suspect in the case.
Police say after they identified Stevens as the suspect, the financial crimes investigator with the Utica Police Department filed warrants for Michael Stevens, age 32 of Syracuse.
Stevens was located on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 and taken into custody.  He is being charged with Forgery in the 2nd degree and Grand Larceny in the 3rd degree.
[EDITOR'S NOTE:   This post is for informational purposes and is based largely on information from the Utica Police Department.  All arrested persons are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.  At the time of this posting no additional information was available.]

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