HUNTINGTON — A Huntington woman has been jailed after being accused of conspiring with another woman in passing several fake checks throughout Cabell County.
Anna Maria Firth, 29, of Huntington, was charged Thursday with conspiracy, fraudulent schemes and forgery and uttering. Firth was charged by the Milton Police Department more than two months after it sought the public’s assistance in finding her.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court, the investigation into Firth began April 6 when Milton police were called to a grocery store in the Milton Plaza. The store manager claimed Firth had attempted to cash a fake check from a food distribution center for $243. The manager’s suspicion arose when he noticed the address on the check listed the business as being in Huntington, when it is located in Culloden.
The suspect, who had remained at the store, was taken to police headquarters for questioning. She said she worked for U.S. Foods and a formal gown boutique and had received the checks from an owner. When contacting that owner, the woman told police her accountant had messed up the checks and she would fix the issue. Police have been unable to contact the woman since and after checking her criminal records they found she had recently been convicted of mail fraud and issuing worthless checks, according to the complaint.
Police also called the check’s issuing bank to confirm the account was active, but the bank stated it was not an existing account.
During the investigation, police found the manager of another grocery store had called police March 26 to state Firth had cashed a check at the store for $521. The check was found to be fake, listing the same food distribution center as being in Milton. A bank told police the account did not exist.
On April 8 police became aware of another check cashed March 26 at a Hamlin, West Virginia, grocery store. The check cashed at that store was identical to the check cashed March 26 at the Milton store with the same check number, date and amount.
Officers went to the food distribution center April 15 and spoke with an employee, who said after reviewing the checks that they were not from their location.
Officers found another fake check seemingly issued by the formal dress store had been cashed May 1 by Firth at a Salt Rock business. The dress shop owners said the check was not issued by that store.
Firth’s bond was set at $40,000. She is housed at Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.