Guymon Businesses Struggle with Hot Checks

Some area businesses are losing money to bad check writers who rely on a legal loophole to keep them out of jail.  Jennifer Williams has had her fill of bad checks at her store.  I think it's very risky,  you can tie up alot of money in checks just in one day, she says.  And the one that got us for 700 dollars, he was coming in two and three times a day, Williams adds.  She waited months to recover money the local district attorney just handed over.   And if a bad check writer skips town, business owners might never see the money.  If someone writes one for under 500 dollars at a store and it bounces, and then the writer leaves the state, he virtually can't be prosecuted unless he's caught back in Oklahoma.  Boring says that's because for bad checks worth less than 500 dollars, he can only issue a misdemeanor warrant, and people cannot be extradited from other states on a misdemeanor warrant.  Our biggest limitation are these misdemeanor warrants that are out of state where we simply can't get these people back here, said district attorney Mike Boring.  It's not right, it's just not right, they should be extradited, said Williams.  The only way we're gonna get them back here or in custody is if they come back to Oklahoma and they get stopped on a traffic citation or something like that, then we will get them arrested, said Boring.  Merchants have few options to protect themselves.  Williams tried refusing out-of-town checks but changed her mind because it hurts her business. She recently invested in a check verification machine but says some hot checks still slip through undetected.  It's extremely critical taking personal checks that you verify through identification, driver's license, some kind of documentation that the person writing the check is in fact the person that goes with that check, notes Boring.  Good documentation Boring says, is the best defense against bad check writers.