The Ottawa County bogus check division has seen a decrease in the number of checks received for collection in the past year.
The decrease has resulted in approximately $100,000 in lost revenue for the county, according to officials.
During the 2005-06 fiscal year, the District Attorneys office received 2,793 area returned checks from merchants totaling $218,333.90.
In the same time frame this year the DA's office received 1,691 returned checks from merchants totaling $120,758.23.
“I think the decrease can be contributed to a number of factors,” said District Attorney Eddie Wyant. “Wal-Mart is definitely a big part of it.”
Last year, Wal-Mart launched its own collection agency to recover bogus checks instead of turning the checks over to the district attorney.
“We've also lost several merchants,” Wyant said. “Most of Picher's businesses have closed in the past year and I think we've had about five convenience stores close in the county.”
Wyant said another factor that contributes to the drop in bogus checks is the number of checks written.
“I think there are fewer checks written,” Wyant said. “We've been very aggressive in collecting these checks.”
From July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, the DA's office has collected $135,269.78 in restitution for merchants. That amount is about $100,000 less than what the DA's office collected last year.
The DA's office collected approximately $400,000 in fees associated with bogus checks during the most recent fiscal year. During the 2005-06 fiscal year, approximately $505,000 was paid in fines to the DA's office.