Nicknamed "The Charlotte Group," federal investigators and local police have arrested about one dozen people, many of them from Charlotte, North Carolina, in an extensive check washing scheme that affected businesses and banks from Lynchburg to Christiansburg.
Members of the criminal enterprise would steal checks from southwest and central Virginia businesses, alter them illegally, and then try to cash them at area banks, court records show.
Investigators say "The Charlotte Group" stole checks from one Salem business in particular totaling $110,000.
Court papers use an example of the group altering one check from the amount of $74.87 to $4,290.07 and cashing it for themselves.
Many of the group's members are either facing sentencing or awaiting trial in the federal system, court record show.