(09/01/2007)
A Calhoun woman has been arrested after authorities said she convinced a friend to cash a check that was part of an Internet scam, according to the Times Record-Roane County Reporter.

Joyce Lamont, 31, of Northside Rd., Grantsville, was charged with obtaining money by false pretenses.

State Police said Lamont had obtained a check as part of an Internet scam in which people are asked to cash checks and are given 10 percent of the check amount in return.

The checks are not valid and issued from phony companies.

Lamont reportedly did not have a checking account, so she got a family member to cash the first check she received.

When that check was returned, the bank sought reimbursement from the family member, who reportedly took out a loan to pay the amount.

From there the scam escalated.

In order to repay the family member, Lamont apparently contacted the company by e-mail, and they sent her another check in the amount of $1,965.32.

Police said Lamont then convinced Jean Reynolds of Walton to cash the second check.

Police said Lamont told Reynolds that the check from "Northern Tool and Equipment" was from a settlement related to an auto accident.

Reynolds took the check to Trader's Bank, where she has an account and cashed it for Lamont.

The police got involved when the second check bounced.

Trooper F.L. Hammack said, "The bottom line is, she [Lamont] knew it was a bad check and Mrs. Reynolds is out almost $2000."

Lamont was arrested Thursday on the felony charge and arraigned by Roane County Magistrate Russell Goodwin. She was released on $1000 bond.

The outcome of a preliminary hearing, scheduled for August 30 is unknown, according to the Spencer Newspaper.


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