AP NEWS

NY man accused of forging check from funeral home

August 23, 2018

STAMFORD — A New York man has been accused of using a forged passport to cash a fraudulent check from a city funeral home.

Sammie Spells III, 59, of Bronx, N.Y., was arrested earlier this month for having a forged U.S. passport and was charged this week for using it to cash a fraudulent check from Nicholas Cognetta Funeral Home, police said.

Spells, who has been held at the Bridgeport Correctional Center in lieu of $25,000 bond, was charged Tuesday with third-degree larceny, second-degree forgery, identity theft and criminal impersonation.

Financial Crimes Sgt. Sean Boeger said Spells used the forged passport to cash a $5,000 check at the People’s Bank branch on Hope Street on Aug. 7.

Boeger said Spells then tried to cash another $5,000 check from Cognetta’s at the People’s Bank in Noroton Heights. However, he was declined because he did not properly complete the withdrawal slip. Boeger said the mistake raised suspicions and an internal alert was sent to other People’s Bank branches.

Boeger said employees of the People’s Bank in Westport called police when Spells then tried to cash the $5,000 check from the funeral home.

Boeger said the funeral home was not aware of the forged checks.

Spells told investigators he was driven to Stamford by a man named Jay, who gave him the fake identification and told him to wear a suit, Boeger said.

jnickerson@stamfordadvocate.com

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