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“America: Don’t Commit Crimes With Checks!”

Check fraud is serious all by itself, but leaving a paper trail in your check book to your other crimes is even worse!

It’s a statement that’s gone viral, just like the case that instigated this humorous jab, made by Charles Barkley on the American Express Halftime Report on TNT. While chatting with Shaquille O’Neal and other hosts during halftime of the Rockets-Lakers game, Barkley weighed in on the Jussie Smollett controversy with a surprising and rather funny comment.

“America, let me just tell you something,” Barkley announced. “Do not commit crimes with checks. If you’re gonna break the law, do not write a check. … Get cash, man. I never use the ATM. Now, I heard you can only get $200 … Gonna make a lot of stops at the ATM. … Do not write checks when you commit illegal activity.”

So what exactly what Barkley referring to?

The Jussie Smollett story is explosive, and no one is 100% sure exactly what happened, but this is what we know so far: Smollett is in the early days of developing his solo musical career, as well as playing the role of Jamal Lyon, a singer on the hit Fox series Empire. Late last month, a threatening letter arrived at the Empire production studio in Chicago, and only two days later, Smollett reported to police that he was assaulted in the early morning hours while talking on the phone to his manager.

According to the police report, Smollett claimed that his attackers hung a noose around his neck hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, and yelled out “This is MAGA country!”. Smollett is both black and openly gay, which is why, when he told police that his attackers were two white men, the crime was instantly labelled as a hate crime, and held up as an example of the current intolerant political climate in American today.

But the police investigation revealed a very different story…

Once police officers began to investigate the allegation, they discovered that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than you would have believed. In the end, it was revealed that Smollett hired two Nigerian brothers to assault him, paying them $3,500 by check. The two brothers are black. Police are saying they believe it was motivated by a desire to get public support and further his career. But it was the fact that he wrote a check to his muggers that made Barkley incredulous.

During Barkley’s comments, a fake check appeared on the screen, addressed to “Muggers”, with “mugging supplies” on the memo line at the bottom of the check. “Do you think they put that on the receipt?” Barkley asked his co-hosts. “Face mask, rope, bleach?” And while it was both entertaining and controversial all at the same time, it’s a valid point. People who break the law often get caught because they leave a blatantly obvious paper trail in their wake.

Financial and fraud crimes in Michigan are serious!

And since we’re on the subject of ‘committing crimes with checks’, we thought we’d remind our readers that, while Barkley was referring specifically to the stupidity in leaving a paper trail, financial and fraud crimes are very serious here in Michigan. Check kiting, insurance fraud and credit card crimes are all taken very seriously, and could all result in life-altering convictions.

At The Kronzek Firm, our skilled criminal defense team has helped lots of people over the decades with financial crime charges and allegations of fraud. We understand how complicated this can be, and have access to the type of expert witnesses that might make a difference at trial. If police have been asking you questions as part of a financial or fraud investigation, call our highly respected criminal defense team at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) today and make sure you’ve got a top rated criminal defense attorney on your side.

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