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Five Arrested in Publix Fraud Scheme

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — Police here have arrested five men for running a bogus check-cashing ring targeting Publix stores throughout Florida.

The suspects admitted to cashing six counterfeit checks totaling $2,900 at Publix Super Market stores on the same day last week, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. It was later learned alleged ringleader Leon “Slim” Stovall was under a separate investigation by state police for “several hundred” fake check cashing cases at Publix stores throughout the Southeast, causing the Lakeland, Fla.-based retailer a “substantial loss.”

Police said a U.S. Postal Inspector, Tim Roth, witnessed two suspects cashing a check at a Publix in Spring Hill, Fla., and getting into a car with three others. Suspecting fraud, Roth followed them to another Publix store in Brooksville, where he witnessed them cashing additional checks, and alerted local authorities.

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