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Mother, son charged with counterfeiting

September 28, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A mother and son are accused of passing counterfeit checks bearing the name of a supposed disaster and emergency relief organization to buy a vehicle and pay the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

Rose Lee Gray, 56, and her son, Andrew Robert Talbott, 32, both of 125 W. Burke St., Suite 11, Martinsburg, were in Eastern Regional Jail Monday night on two counts of counterfeiting and two counts of conspiracy to counterfeiting, according to court records.

Talbott also was charged with receiving and transferring a stolen vehicle by West Virginia State Police Cpl. J.M. Walker, who investigated the case, according to court records.

A third person, Ricky Lynn Gregory, 54, of 696 Poor House Road in Martinsburg, was charged with receiving and transferring stolen goods after he allegedly purchased a vehicle that Talbott obtained with a counterfeit check, according to court records.

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On Sept. 21, Talbott was found with a blank check bearing the name K & A Donation Center and a vehicle title when he was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant, according to Walker's complaint.

The check was issued through the "Bank of West Virginia," which Walker determined doesn't exist, according to the trooper's complaint.

Walker also determined the check had a fictitious routing number and that the Inwood, W.Va., post office box address for K & A Donation Center printed on the check had actually been assigned to Talbott, according to the officer's complaint.

On the Internet, Walker found the Web site www.k-n-adonationscenter.org, which lists K & A Donation Center's address as 125 W. Burke St., Suite 11, Martinsburg, Va. 25401-3340. A locator map on the Web site places the donation center in Martinsburg, W.Va., which turned out to be the defendants' residence in an apartment building.

The Web site urges people to contact a telephone number with an 866 area code "to put your money and time to a worthwhile, humanitarian effort."

The site goes on to say, "How many times have you seen people in need being ignored or forgotten by people with the means to help them? Do something about it today! Provide emergency and disaster relief to those in need with your charitable donations to our organization in Martinsburg, Virginia. K & A Donation Center helps anyone needing assistance as a result of job loss, natural disaster, sickness and other contributing factors."

Last week, a man told Walker that Talbott paid him $5,000 for a Chevrolet truck with a K & A Donation Center check that was later determined to be counterfeit, according to the trooper's complaint.

At the state DMV office in Martinsburg, authorities there also reported that Gray passed two Donation Center checks dated Aug. 31 and Sept. 8 in the amount of $95 and $171.25 respectively, according to Walker's complaint.

Walker said in his complaint that Gray admitted in a statement to police that she received the counterfeit checks from her son and uttered five of them altogether.

Gray told Walker she believed her son made the checks on his uncle's computer, according to Walker's complaint.

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