Fort Myers man busted in multi-state check fraud scheme

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- You may want to be careful the next time you put a check in your mailbox.

A multi-state fraud ring, with ties to Southwest Florida, was just busted. John Kulo, 56, will spend nearly two years behind bars for his role.

The State Attorney’s Office says thieves stole business checks from their mailboxes, washed them with chemicals and wrote in their names.

Investigators say Kulo cashed the checks at 11 local banks and got away with more than $20,000.

“We would like to make sure that this gentleman is prosecuted to the fullest so he can’t take advantage of anybody else,” said Peter Simeone, co-owner of the Cape Coral Roof Smart, one of the local businesses targeted.

“Just a loss of money that they don’t see again,” said John Benkert, a former NSA employee who now owns CPR Tools, a data security company.

Benkert says the best thing businesses can do is get a P.O. Box and look into printed checks.

“A lot of check washing happens to handwritten checks. So they are written with ink and a pen,” said Benkert.

“We are a business. But just imagine if it was a woman who only had two kids and no other source of income or an old couple whatever it is. They just don’t have a conscience,” said Simeone.

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