Huntsville police search for man seen cashing counterfeit checks

Huntsville police have arrested one man and are looking for another. Investigators don't believe the two men are connected.

Posted: Feb 8, 2019 5:30 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2019 6:57 PM

Huntsville police are looking for a man who's accused of cashing counterfeit checks. Investigators said someone identified William Furmanski in a surveillance image the department released.

Furmanski isn't the only one in trouble for the crime. Matthew Beavers is in the Madison County jail on a $75,000 bond. Police said he also cashed fake checks, but investigators don't think the two men know each other.

Huntsville police said investigators determined Beavers was stealing mail from mailboxes. He then found checks inside and made his own counterfeit checks. After that, he started cashing them.

Police said he got about $6,000. Investigators said he was making checks with people's routing numbers, checking account numbers and signatures.

"I didn't even know that was possible. I thought checks were pretty safe," said Faith Oliger, a victim's neighbor.

Huntsville police identified at least two of Beaver's victims and said he's currently charged with six felonies but could face more charges.

"It's scary. It's quiet here. You don't really expect anything bad to happen," Oliger said

Huntsville police said Furmanski was caught on surveillance video cashing about $4,000 dollars worth of counterfeit checks.

"It's very easy to identify these individuals because all banks have very good CCTV in their lobbies, so it kind of begs the question of why someone would commit a crime like this," said Lt. Michael Johnson with Huntsville police.

Johnson said catching criminals on surveillance camera is easy, but Oliger said she has questions as to why both men were able to do this without a problem.

"You have to go in. You have to show your ID," she said.

Those safety checks are something police said not all banks in the area are doing.

"When checks and balances and first defenses aren't there, that's what gets the cash into the criminals' hands when they walk out of the bank," Johnson said.

Oliger said she hopes the man that stole her neighbor's information learns his lesson.

"I hope he's punished for taking innocent people's money that they worked really hard for. Maybe he should get a job to make his own money," she said.

Huntsville police said investigators haven't determined where Furmanski is getting the information for the fake checks he's made.

Police said if you've noticed any suspicious activity with your bank account, then you're urged to contact them and your bank. As for the victims, police said the banks reimbursed them.

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