Crime

Man, woman charged with passing forged checks at two Wake County auto dealers

Crystal Marcelle Gains
Crystal Marcelle Gains

A Raleigh man and woman were arrested Tuesday night on charges that they used forged checks worth $168,000 from Regions Bank and Wells Fargo to buy two SUVs and a pickup truck from autor dealers in Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina.

Crystal Marcelle Gaines, 35, also known as Crystal Marcelle Hammond, was arrested at the InTown Suites hotel at 1491 U.S. 70 West, records stated. Anthony Joseph Gaines, 40, was arrested at a shopping center next door to the hotel.

Both people listed 719 Bryant St. in Raleigh as their home address.

According to arrest warrants that Raleigh police swore out in late September, the pair went to Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and gave the dealer three Regions Bank cashiers checks totaling $101, 369.17. They bought a 2015 GMC Sierra pickup truck and a 2016 GMC Acadia SUV.

Regions Bank told Thompson that all three checks were frauds, according to the warrants.

On Tuesday, warrants obtained by Fuquay-Varina police say, the two went to the John Heister Chevrolet dealership with a Wells Fargo certified check for $67,858 to buy a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.

The check indicated that Crystal Gaines had given the bank the money on which the check was drawn, but the account number printed on it was bogus, police said in the warrants.

Fuquay-Varina police charged Crystal and Anthony Gaines with one charge each of forging an instrument, uttering a forged instrument and obtaining property by false pretenses.

Raleigh police charged each of the pair with three counts of forging an instrument, three counts of uttering a forged instrument and one count of obtaining property worth more than $100,000 by false pretenses.

Crystal Gaines also was charged with failing to appear in court after being charged with obtaining property by false pretenses in Lincoln, Catawba and Wake counties and obtaining property by false pretense and passing a worthless check in Wake County.

Under the name Hammond, Crystal Gaines has several convictions in Catawba County on check-forgery charges and obtaining property by false pretense, state prison records show.

She was convicted in December 2003 and put on probation, but several arrests after that led to her probation being revoked in January 2005, and she served about 38 months in prison until her release in March 2008.

A magistrate set Crystal Gaines’ bail at $225,000 and Anthony Gaines’ bail at $95,000. They were scheduled for court first appearances Wednesday.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT

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