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Alert 2006-59
Description: Park National Bank

Counterfeit Official Checks of Park National Bank, Newark, OH

To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks; All State Banking Authorities; Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Director, Office of Thrift Supervision; Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Deputy Comptrollers (districts); Assistant Deputy Comptrollers; District Counsel; and All Examining Personnel

The above-named bank has reported that counterfeit official checks issued in the bank’s name and using a correct routing number of 011007092 are being presented for payment nationwide in connection with a lottery scam.

Counterfeit items may be identified by the following traits: The checks are printed on a green check stock, contain the bank’s name and an address of “South 30th Street Branch” in the top-center portion of the item, include the Remitter line in the top-left section, and have the words “OFFICIAL CHECK” located in the bottom-left area of the check. The following security statement appears inside of the darkened top border: “THIS DOCUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND AND MICROPRINTING. THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK.” The “Issued By” and “Drawer” statements are located in the lower-left corner.

Most items presented to date have used a remitter name of Cassandra Thomas, have been made payable in the amount of $2,975, and have been dated Sept. 25, 2006.

Correspondence accompanying the checks may contain the letterhead of “Horizon Lotto E-Payment Inc., PO Box 52381, St. Thomas, Virgin Island 00802.” Note that the address is misspelled as “Virgin Island” vs. “Virgin Islands.” The letter alerts the recipient that he or she is the winner of an unclaimed prize and should contact the office immediately. The letter also advises the recipient to keep all information confidential and instructs him or her to deposit the enclosed check into their bank account immediately because the funds are necessary to pay for processing fees and international taxes prior to the release of the winnings. Recipients are encouraged to contact Mr. David Cohen at 1-902-412-3032, which is a Canadian telephone number, by a specific date, or the winnings will be forfeited. The correspondence is signed by John Hamstead, Director, Claims Management.

For additional information and guidance and to verify the authenticity of Park National Bank’s official checks, please contact Doug Marston, Security Officer, 21 S First Street, Newark, OH 43055, by telephone at (740) 349-4317, by fax at (740) 345-6817, or via e-mail at [dmarston@parknationalbank.com]. 

Additional information concerning this matter that you believe should be brought to the attention of the OCC may be forwarded to:

E-mail: occalertresponses@occ.treas.gov
Mail: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Special Supervision Division, MS 6-4
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219
Fax: (202) 874-5214
Internet: http://www.occ.gov

For additional information regarding other types of financial fraud, please visit the OCC's anti-fraud resource at: http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/fraud-resources/index-fraud-resources.html.

/signed/

Richard C. Stearns
Director for Enforcement & Compliance