The Bogus Check Restitution Program was established in February of 1983 under the guidelines of 22 O.S. (1982) 111 et seq, to assist citizens of District 21 with the collection and/or prosecution of bogus checks. The program is designed to deter the writing of bad checks by providing restitution to the victim and enforcing sanctions to the check writer without inundating the court system with criminal charges.
Following are frequently asked questions about the bogus check program:
HOW DO I SUBMIT A CHECK FOR COLLECTION?
A check enters the system when a merchant or citizen submits the check along with an information form and a signed and notarized affidavit. The check must fall under the guidelines of a false and bogus check as outlined in the bogus check statute.
The District Attorney’s Office will provide you with the necessary forms and is happy to advise you on check acceptance practices that will maximize our ability to collect on your checks. We are also available to speak to groups or clubs to explain the Bogus Check Program.
HOW MUCH DOES A MERCHANT PAY TO HAVE BAD CHECKS COLLECTED BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE?
Checks are collected at NO COST to the merchant. In fact, the law allows the Bogus Check Division to collect the amount of the check plus a $25 fee for the merchant and any bank fee charged to merchant when the check did not clear the writer’s account.
HOW IS THE PROGRAM FUNDED?
Hot check writers are required to pay fees which fund all costs associated with the program. This allows the Bogus Check Program to operate at no cost to the merchant and with no expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
WHEN WILL MERCHANTS RECEIVE PAYMENTS?
Payouts are made Bi-weekly. These payouts may be for partial amounts of what is owed, or they may be the full amount. If you have multiple checks submitted to our office, the check will include payments on all accounts received during the prior week. The check stub will list the person(s) and amount paid for each account.
I HAVE A BAD CHECK THAT WAS SUBMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR COLLECTION. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you receive notification that you have had a check turned into our office for collection, it is imperative that you contact us as soon as possible to pay the check and fees in full or set up a payment arrangement. Once a check has been submitted to us for collection you can no longer make payment directly to the merchant. Failure to act promptly could result in your file being screened for criminal charges.
HOW DO I MAKE PAYMENTS?
Payments may be made in person or by mail at the District Attorney’s Offices in Cleveland, McClain, or Garvin counties. You MAY NOT pay by personal check, credit card or cash. All payments must be in the form of cashier’s check or money order. Be sure that your payment it clearly identified with your name and type of payment (bogus check). Our office receives several types of payments, so be sure it is clear where the payment should be applied.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WRITE ANOTHER BAD CHECK AFTER I HAVE BEGUN A RESTITUTION PLAN?
If the check was written on or before the date(s) of the checks already submitted to the program, they will be added into your current payment plan. If they are written after that date, your restitution agreement will be terminated and your file submitted for screening for criminal charges.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FAIL TO LIVE UP TO THE TERMS OF THE RESTITUTION AGREEMENT?
Restitution agreements are designed to allow check writers to pay off the checks and avoid criminal charges. Failure to follow your restitution agreement will result in your case being submitted for screening for criminal charges. If charges are filed and the amount of the check(s) is under $500, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. If the amount of the check(s) is $500 or more, you will be charged with a felony. When charges are filed, a warrant is issued for your arrest.
If you are convicted on the bogus check charge, the judge will likely order restitution on the checks as part of your sentence. Our office also collects these court-ordered restitution payments. In addition to check restitution, defendants are required to pay court costs to the Court Clerk’s office.
If you have other questions about the Bogus Check Program, please contact the District Attorney’s Office in Cleveland County (405) 366-0269, McClain County (405) 527-6574, or Garvin County (405) 238-7368 and ask to speak to someone in the Bogus Check Division.