A Fremont man is wanted for passing a fraudulent check in Washington County.
James B. Murphy, 55, is charged with theft by unlawful taking, $500-$1,500, subsequent offense, a Class 4 felony.
A warrant was issued Oct. 5.
According to an arrest affidavit, a Blair resident reported Murphy had purchased a 1989 Honda Civic from him with a check for $700 on July 23. The seller was skeptical about accepting the check, but Murphy convinced him. The heading on the check was EFS with a Utah address. Murphy included his driver license, business and business address, which was located in Fremont, on the check.
The Blair resident deposited the check. On July 27, it was returned as “refer to maker” and deemed fraudulent.
The victim contacted Murphy, who said the check was good and to try to have the bank deposit it again. The bank refused.
The victim again tried to contact Murphy, who didn’t respond.
The business Murphy listed on the check was later found not to exist and the address is not listed with any business.
During an investigation, a Blair detective found that Murphy was staying with a woman in a residence near a Fremont golf course.
The woman told the investigator that Murphy had recently moved out, but before he left she had seen him arguing with someone about the purchase of a vehicle.
After he left, the woman said numerous repossession companies and several people representing car dealerships arrived at her residence to repossess vehicles that were purchased with fraudulent checks. Three vehicles were towed from the parking lot at the golf course.
The woman later told the detective Murphy called her from Kentucky saying he needed help. She visited him and loaned him money. He had the Honda with him at the time.
According to the report, Murphy has absconded from parole in South Dakota. His criminal history shows he has been arrested seven times for fraud-related crimes and eight times for theft. He spent five years in prison for fraud and theft.