By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
GENEVA — An Ashtabula man faces felony forgery and theft charges after he was caught attempting to cash a bogus check worth thousands of dollars.
Nathan Benjamin Provan, 27, handed a Key Bank teller a check for $4,200 last week with hopes of a quick cash out, Geneva police reports show.
Suspicious of the large amount, the teller asked Provan for two forms of identification, which is common policy for check cashing without an account at Key Bank.
Provan showed the teller a driver’s license and credit card. Still suspicious, the teller called the owner of the check and found out the checkbook had been stolen and that someone had cashed a forged check for $3,500 from the account the day before.
Geneva Patrolman Doug Zetlaw said he questioned Provan and found holes in the suspect’s story from the start.
“He said he was in Geneva to do a roofing job,” Zetlaw said, “but he didn’t know the address of the place he was roofing. I also found the story to be unbelievable due to the recent heavy snow and cold weather.”
Zetlaw said Provan continued to insist he was just a working contractor and that the check was payment for a roofing job he had just done.
“He couldn’t even tell me the name of the street where the roofing job was being done,” Zetlaw said. “He also wasn’t wearing clothing appropriate for roofing or working outside in the freezing cold weather.”
Zetlaw said Provanconfessed to cashing the $3,500 check and that his “cut” was $500.
The checks were stolen from a Rome Township home two weeks ago, and the victim did not know the checks were missing.
Provan is charged with felony forgery and theft, Western County Court records show. A public defender has been appointed on his behalf, and he faces a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Provan has a history with the county court system. He served six months at the Lorain Correctional Institution in 2006 for breaking and entering and also served two years probation for felony burglary in 2010, court records show.