BENNINGTON -- A man and a woman were charged with passing $2,585 in checks written from a defunct bank account at the local Hannaford grocery store.
Melissa Brown, 23, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to six misdemeanor counts of false pretenses or false tokens, and one count of attempted false pretenses or false tokens. Daniel Borer, 37, pleaded not guilty to three counts of false pretenses or tokens and one count of attempted false pretenses or false tokens. Both live on Pageant Street and both were released on conditions they not go to Hannaford.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Sgt. Michael Plusch, on Aug. 7 he met with a Hannaford employee who reported that $2,585 in checks had been written in the past week from a bank account that no longer existed. It was discovered that day when a male tried to buy merchandise using a check from the closed account and the sale was refused. Plusch wrote that the checks were in the name of Brown and were issued by the Adams Co-Operative Bank, which merged with the Adams Community Bank in 2011 and no longer exists. According to the Adams Community Bank, Brown’s checking account also has not existed for some time.
The store provided surveillance tapes showing Brown and Borer buying items in the store, according to police.
Plusch wrote that he located Brown and she said she did not realize the account had been closed.
According to police, Brown wrote a check to Hannaford three times. Twice the check was declined, but management overruled it and the purchase was complete. Police said Borer passed three checks, each being declined at first but then accepted when store management was called. Borer’s fourth purchase was declined and police were summoned. Each check was for amounts between $200 and $700.
-- Keith Whitcomb Jr.