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Baltimore man pleads guilty to forging checks

June 05, 2000

A Baltimore man who used a computer at his parents' home to create hundreds of phony checks will be out of prison soon so he can begin paying restitution.

Lawrence Mark Fearon pleaded guilty to one count each of forgery and theft/scheme Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Fearon, 33, was already serving a three-year prison sentence on similar convictions in other counties and he was wanted on detainers from other states, according to court records.

In Washington County, Fearon admitted cashing checks totaling $1,081 at County Market and checks totaling $3,299 at Martin's Supermarket in July 1998.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said Fearon would take payroll checks made out to him on the account of Maryland Medical Supply, make a small purchase at the stores and get the balance in cash.

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"Stores still do that ... let people cash checks like that?" asked Judge Kennedy Boone.

Rozes said most stores will cash such checks even if the purchase is a small one.

An investigation led to the address on the checks, which turned out to be Fearon's address and not that of a company, which was found to be nonexistent.

Rozes said that when police went to Fearon's residence, he threw hundreds of similar checks out the window.

"I'd like to say I'm remorseful," Fearon said.

Boone sentenced Fearon to 10 years in prison for the forgery with all but three years suspended, dating from the time of his arrest in September 1998.

An additional 15-year sentence for theft/scheme also was suspended and probation was set at 18 months once Fearon is released from all his prison sentences.

- Marlo Barnhart

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