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Patron indicted after 16 checks forged at track

April 22, 1999|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Charles Town man is charged with forging signatures on 16 checks at the Charles Town Races, hoping he would ultimately get lucky at the track and make up the money, according to court records.

The checks were among 18 cashed at the track for $34,000, court records said.

This week, a Jefferson County grand jury indicted Kevin Lamar Fields, 30, of 429 S. Lawrence St., on 16 counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, according to Jefferson County Circuit Court records.

Conviction on any of the charges carries a punishment of from one to 10 years in prison or a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

West Virginia State Police said they were informed by track security that a man had been cashing checks at the track on a closed bank account.

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Track officials also told state police that 16 of the checks had forged signatures.

Richard Lee Moore, a supervisor at the track, told police he signed one of the checks authorizing it to be cashed, but his signature was forged on 16 others.

Court documents do not account for one of the 18 checks, which records said belonged to a girlfriend of Fields.

On Jan. 29, track officials had a meeting with Fields in which Fields entered into an agreement to pay the track. The agreement said Fields and his girlfriend agreed to pay the track at least $1,000 a month, although no payment has been made, according to court records.

Fields told Trooper E.D. Widmeyer that he knew he was cashing bad checks but hoped "he would get lucky at the track and be able to replace the money," according to allegations contained in court records.

Fields is currently free on $15,000 bond.

Track officials declined to comment in detail.

Bill Bork Jr., director of marketing, said the track has set up a cash checking service in an attempt to make sure checks are valid.

But Bork said the move was not in reaction to the Fields case. Bork said the service was set up because check cashing was tying up too much of the track supervisors' time.

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