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4 Georgia men arrested in SD in elaborate check-cashing scam

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Four Georgia men are charged in South Dakota in what investigators call one of the most elaborate check writing scams they've ever seen.

Sioux Falls police say the men stole checks from company mailboxes, copied them and scrubbed the "pay to the order of" section. Then they paid $150 to transients who had photo IDs to cash the checks at local banks.

In all, the group is accused of writing 48 checks worth at least $150,000.

Twenty-one-year-old Xavier Shields and 25-year-old Demarcus Stevens, each of Decatur, Ga., and 25-year-old Ryan Hill and 28-year-old Dwight Daniels, both of Atlanta, are charged with possession of a forged instrument.

One key tip came in August from a housekeeper at a hotel who found an envelope filled with blank checks.