Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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Toledo woman charged in theft from Lucas County jail inmate account

A Toledo woman accused of supplying fraudulent checks worth thousands of dollars from a Lucas County jail commissary fund has been arrested.

Chrystie Norwood, 27, of the 1400 block of Jermain Drive is charged in Toledo Municipal Court with eight counts of forgery. A judge released her Saturday on her own recognizance.

OBJECTOfficials said Ms. Norwood provided checks for others to cash throughout November. The larger scam, believed to involve several people, totaled about $20,000 in losses.

Upon release from jail, inmates receive checks for the remainder of funds in their individual inmate trust accounts. Investigators identified several people cashing checks with the forged account information, Det. Jeff Kozak said.

“They were beginning to get cashed in early November. We became aware of it not long after that, working with Fifth Third Bank,” the detective said.

There was no collusion with employees, and investigators are still reviewing how Ms. Norwood committed the forgery, Detective Kozak said.

The inmate trust account is comprised of funds added by inmates or by others on their behalf. Officials are working to ensure the money is repaid, he said.

“I was shocked that they picked an account with a police agency, but they did it very quickly,” Detective Kozak said. “As soon as we learned about it, we shut down the account.”

There were 24 checks cashed, and all were worth less than $1,000 each, Detective Kozak said.

Sheriff John Tharp said officials must be diligent and are following up on the case.

Officials will next present the case to the grand jury. Additional charges are expected.

Contact Ryan Dunn at rdunn@theblade.com, 419-724-6095, or on Twitter @RDunnBlade.

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