NEW BRITAIN - A Hartford man was arrested and charged Friday with forging and attempting to cash a check for $2,400 from the Carlson Funeral Home last year.
William Viera, 51, of Willard St., Hartford, is charged with second-degree forgery and third-degree larceny. He was ordered held on $10,000 bond during his arraignment in New Britain Superior Court Monday.
According to the warrant for his arrest, an employee of the funeral home was contacted on June 9, 2018, by Webster Bank and asked if he had issued a check to Viera in the amount of $2,400.
The employee said he hadn’t, and when he called the bank to check on the check’s status, he was told that two additional checks had been cashed, in the amounts of $2,200 each, the warrant said. One of the checks was made out to “William Shepard” and the other was made out to “Edwin Marquz.”
All three checks were written on Carlson Funeral Home business checks using the employee’s signature, but neither the employee nor the other two employees who are allowed to sign checks had written the checks, the warrant said the employee told police.
Two days later, police contacted Hartford Correctional Center and requested an interview with Viera, who declined, the warrant said.
A bank fraud investigator then told police on June 19, 2018, that she had captured a still image from the bank’s surveillance camera of a man attempting to cash the check, the warrant said. The suspect had tried to cash the check after submitting three forms of identification: a Connecticut identification card, a Social Security card and a Connecticut Social Services card.
Police sent a copy of the still image to Viera’s parole officer, who identified the man shown as Viera.
Viera has a record of arrests or convictions on charges including second-degree robbery, second-degree strangulation, possession of narcotics, sale of narcotics and risk of injury, police said in the warrant.
Viera is due back in New Britain Superior Court on July 9.
The status of the $2,200 checks made out to “Shepard” and “Marquz” is unclear.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.