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Disaster and emergency relief organization's Web site shut down

Police: Mother and son at organization's address are linked to counterfeit case

Police: Mother and son at organization's address are linked to counterfeit case

October 29, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Web site that promoted a disaster and emergency relief organization -- which police linked to a counterfeit case involving a mother and son in Martinsburg -- has been shut down.

Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Richard D. Stephens obtained a permanent injunction Thursday from 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh to shut down www.k-n-adonationscenter.org, which had listed K&A Donation Center's address as 125 W. Burke St., Suite 11, Martinsburg, WV 25401-3340.

Rose Lee Gray, 56, and her son, Andrew Robert Talbott, 32, both of the same Burke Street address, were in jail Thursday on two counts of counterfeiting and conspiracy to counterfeiting, according to court records. Talbott also was charged with receiving and transferring a stolen vehicle.

They are accused of passing counterfeit checks bearing the name of the disaster and emergency relief organization to buy a vehicle and pay the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles, according to court records.

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In a civil proceeding before Groh on Thursday, Gray and Talbott each told the judge they did not object to the Web site being shut down and agreed not to solicit donations for their apparent venture.

Gray told the judge she had not obtained any donations from the former Web site, which she said was owned by her son.

Talbott told Groh he would rather have the Web site shut down and indicated he might launch another Web site in the future.

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 a complaint by State Police Cpl. J.M. Walker.

The check was issued through the "Bank of West Virginia," which Walker determined does not exist, according to court records.

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

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

Gray admitted in a statement to police she received the counterfeit checks from her son and uttered five of them, according to court records.

A victim told police that Talbott paid him $5,000 for a Chevrolet truck with a K&A Donation Center check that later was determined to be counterfeit, police said.

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