Third arrest made in more than $170K Lee County check fraud scheme - 96.9 WINK FM

Third arrest made in more than $170K Lee County check fraud scheme


The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a third person they say is involved in a fraudulent check cashing scheme totaling more than $170,000.

Deputies have arrested Adarius Williams, 33, of Fort Myers. He is facing charges of fraud for uttering a false bank note, grand larceny between $5,000 and $10,000, and fraud by using a fake ID.

The sheriff’s office says Willimas was arrested after being identified as the person who cashed a fraudulent check at Suncoast Credit Union on October 14, 2022.

Williams was released on a $15,000 bond.

According to an arrest report, Williams’ arrest is connected to the arrests of 28-year-old Eric Speed and 24-year-old Ariel Battles.

Eric Speed, left, and Ariel Battles, right. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

Battles is accused of helping Speed cash 19 fraudulent checks while she worked as a bank teller at Suncoast Credit Union. The bank fired her after discovering the fraud.

Speed is accused of making and passing fraudulent checks to others to cash and, on at least one occasion, cashing them himself.

Deputies found blank checks, check paper, printers, and checks made out in the names of companies matching the fraudulent checks identified by the bank in Speed’s home.

The arrest report says the total amount of fraudulent losses they could attribute to Speed is $178,332.79.

Battles told deputies she believed there were other bank tellers helping Speed. The arrest report did not mention if the sheriff’s office is investigating other bank tellers’ involvement but says they believe others are involved.


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