Hot Checks in Laredo
The district attorney's office is trying to crack down on people who write hot checks.
Our Lauren Kendrick spoke to them and joins us with more.
A hot check is when you write a check and it is returned due to insufficient funds.
The hot check division deals with this on a daily basis and says it's a huge problem.
The district attorney's office created the hot check division over twenty years ago, when they noticed it was becoming a growing problem. It's a way to help local merchants or anyone who has been a victim of hot checks.
"We try to do outreach to the local merchants. It's been here since 1989 so a lot of merchants know about our division."
Linares says they work on the collection and prosecution of fraudulent checks in their department. Jail time is an option for certain cases as well as large fines. For instance, a hot check totaling up to $20 could earn you a fine of up to $500. They see hot checks written for all amounts.
"Mostly, they range from $20 to $500, $1,000."
The largest hot check Linares has come in contact with while working in the office for fifteen years, is a check worth over $100,000. When it comes to the excuses for writing hot checks, the stories are endless.
"You hear all kinds of stories whether they're true or they make them up, we really don't know that."
Linares says unfortunately, there are many repeat offenders who continue to write hot checks to stores across Laredo.