Statesboro police arrested a Sylvania woman on Friday who has a history of passing fraudulent checks and with identity theft, charging her again with two counts of passing fictitious checks at local grocery stores.
Statesboro police Sgt. Jake Saxon said Monday that the woman, Brandy Marie Barbee, 38, of Halcyondale Road in Sylvania, passed fraudulent checks at Food World stores on Fair Road and Northside Drive West recently, leading to her arrest on two counts of "printing, executing or negotiating checks or drafts knowing information is in error or fictitious."
In 2012, Barbee was convicted on similar charges and served federal time in prison, according to Bulloch County sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Akins.
The Statesboro Herald reported in February 2012 that Barbee, along with Tito Jermaine Scott, 38, both of whom had a Waverly Lane address at the time, were arrested after sheriff's investigators found extensive evidence of "a complete setup for the manufacturing of fictitious checks" at the home, including 553 checks with 40 different names and 113 different routing numbers, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
The 2012 investigation followed the December 2011 burglary of a Parrish Road home in which checks were stolen that were later used to buy items in Effingham and Chatham counties. Video surveillance from a Wal-Mart store in Pooler, where some of the purchases were made, showed Barbee using the checks to buy a variety of items. Still shots from the video were distributed among the media, and soon, tips from citizens came "flooding in," Anderson said at the time.
"Investigators were able to determine that Barbee had an extensive, multi-state criminal history of financial crimes," he said.
Barbee fled the area, but the United States Marshals Service helped locate her at a Tennessee motel. She was extradited to Bulloch County and charged with 41 counts of financial identity fraud, one count of negotiating fraudulent checks and one count of felony theft by receiving stolen property, as well as Superior Court probation violation.
The current case, led by Statesboro police Detective Ben Purvis, remains under investigation. Saxon said Monday that further information and possible additional charges could arise.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Purvis at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911. Tips also may be submitted anonymously at www.tipsoft.com or by sending the text "TIPSSPD" followed by the message to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.