Man arrested twice in two weeks for creating nearly $100k worth of fake checks
An investigator with the Bibb County Sheriff’s office says the suspect targeted people from all across the country and adds he wants business owners in the local area to be cautious.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office’s Financial Crimes Unit says 39-year-old Thomas Hasstrup spent months plotting and planning to steal money from his victims.
“We get reports from all over the U.S. from other departments where victims’ identities were used here in Bibb County,” Investigator Corey Johnson said.
Hasstrup used account information from businesses and people from Oregon and Pennsylvania.
“Inside of the apartment we found I believe it was three laptop computers, we found several checks, that were printed inside the home of the suspect,” Johnson said.
Authorities arrested Hasstrup at the apartments where he lived in Macon. Investigators found about $84,000 worth of counterfeit checks and other equipment.
“Those checks contained names and addresses and account numbers of businesses,” Johnson said.
Deputies arrested Hasstrup twice this month — he bonded out of jail the first time after being connected to an identity theft investigation.
Then authorities discovered the 39-year-old had already stolen $100,000 from different businesses.
“You get a routing number and an account number to a company who can purchase a regular black and white printer and print out the checks,” Johnson said.
Investigators say there’s no telling on whether the victims will see their money again.
“It can go either way. They can ask for restitution of course after the criminal case has been completed. A lot of banks are working really hard in providing the victims, you know, giving them their money back,” Johnson said.
But they are urging people to be vigilant about their bank information so you’re prepared if you’re ever a target.
“It’s something that you’re just going to have to maintain. You’re going to have to continuously look at your finances with your business,” Johnson said.
Hasstrup bonded out of jail on Tuesday. He’s charged with two counts of identity thefts and four counts of third degree forgery. Investigators say they’re looking into whether Hasstrup acted by himself or with others.
If you’ve been targeted or have any information about the case, call the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at 478-751-7500.