LaPlace woman arrested this week, linked to check-fraud ring

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

LAPLACE — Police say a local woman, arrested Wednesday, is the final suspect connected to an eight-person, check-fraud ring that caught the eyes of numerous law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service-Financial Crimes Task Force.

Arikea Thomas, 33, of LaPlace, was apprehended for three counts of principal to monetary instrument abuse and bank fraud. According to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, bond has not been set for Thomas’ release from house arrest.

Arikea Thomas

“This investigation is now closed,” a Sheriff’s Office release said.

The St. John Sheriff’s Office first announced news of the investigation in February involving the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Kenner Police Department and Financial Crimes Task Force, saying authorities discovered a group of individuals deposited fraudulent checks from New Orleans-area businesses into a LaPlace financial institution.

Authorities said the businesses’ account information was stolen and used to produce numerous forged checks not authorized by the businesses’ payroll departments.

Those arrested include Thomas, as well as Jeffery Charles Clark, 40, of St. Rose; and Seth Paul, 21, Kendrick Seaberry, 34, Aaron Thomas, 35, Amber Brown, 22, Angela Brown, 26, and Annette Thomas, 28, all of LaPlace.

Detectives began their investigation Dec. 8 after receiving a complaint from a LaPlace financial institution that discovered counterfeit checks had been cashed on several New Orleans area business accounts.