SE Houston store owner says he was taken for $10K in fake checks

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A southeast Houston convenience store owner says he's been swindled out of more than $10,000 by a group of men who cashed a stack of fake checks Friday afternoon.

It happened at a store on Telephone Road and Almeda Genoa. When 10 people walked into the business to cash paychecks from a nearby company, the store manager thought they were legit.

Nine men and one woman walked into the store. Most of the men had on hats. They walk up one by one cashing what appears to be paychecks from the Schoenmann Produce Company.

The manager says he had cashed paychecks for employees there before, but this time, when he called the company and the bank to verify the checks, they said the checks were fake.

At that point, it was too late. The store had given out more than $10,000 and the fake employees were nowhere to be found. We spoke with the store manager who didn't want his identity revealed.

"This is organized crime. Somebody is behind this," he said. "I have fingerprints, phone numbers. Hopefully police can find them."

Houston police are on the case. We were there as officers took those fake checks from the store and detectives are now investigating.
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