EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — A Plover man will spend 18 months on probation after police say he ran a falsified check scheme at Wisconsin Kwik Trip stores, including one in Eau Claire.
Ian F. Johnson, 39, pleaded guilty recently in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of uttering a forgery. A misdemeanor count of theft was dismissed.
Judge Emily Long fined Johnson $588 and ordered him to pay $215 in restitution.
As conditions of probation, Johnson cannot have contact with Kwik Trip stores. He also cannot possess or use checks or checkbooks unless an official paycheck is written to him by his employer.
According to the criminal complaint:
An Eau Claire police officer was contacted by an employee of the Kwik Trip corporate office concerning fraudulent activity that occurred on Dec. 7, 2017, at the Kwik Trip store at 1130 W. MacArthur Ave.
The employee said that on seven or eight occasions, a man identified as Johnson passed falsified checks at Kwik Trip stores around the state, including once at the Eau Claire store.
Johnson entered the store and bought three boxes of doughnuts, a box of coffee and four Kwik Trip gift cards for a total of $215.
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The employee said the check that was written by Johnson was later determined to have been invalid. The employee said Johnson was using a check that had his name on it along with a correct bank routing number. But the account and check number were falsified.
The employee said the checks were not cleared, but by that time Johnson had already left the store on each occasion.
The employee was able to track where the Kwik Trip gift cards were used and was able to obtain video footage of Johnson.
The employee contacted the Wausau Police Department and learned officers there were familiar with Johnson as they had arrested him several times.
Of the seven or eight times Johnson used the falsified checks at state Kwik Trip stores, he received a total of $1,300 worth of merchandise and gift cards.
In the Eau Claire incident, Johnson wrote out a check for $225 and received $10 back in cash. After the transaction, Johnson was seen in surveillance video as he left the store.