OPD: Men Wrote Bad Checks to Businesses


A pair of men are behind bars after Ottumwa police say they wrote several fraudulent checks to businesses over an extended period of time.

32-year-old Jacob Barnett (left) of Ottumwa and 28-year-old Scott Wright (right) of Morton, Illinois have each been charged with forgery (Class D felony) and ongoing criminal conduct (Class B felony).

Court records say Barnett and Wright ordered checks online from a bank but never put money into the checking account. The pair then started writing checks at various businesses for merchandise and to get cash back even though the checks were invalid.

According to police, Barnett and Wright conspired with other individuals to have them write out checks at the same businesses for items and cash back and then split the proceeds from the theft afterward. Authorities believe the thefts occurred between August and November 2022.

Both men are currently in the Wapello County Jail. Barnett is being held on a $25,000 bond. Wright’s bond information was not available via online records.

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