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Check fraud investigation leads to four arrests

Four local residents were arrested during the weekend on multiple charges relating to a check fraud and forgery investigation started by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in late 2014.

Diane Lee Lake, 36, Christopher Raymond Biddy, 41, and David Barger, 30, were arrested after a search warrant was served on a residence located on Arapahoe Street regarding an ongoing investigation into a suspected check fraud scheme.

According to the sheriff’s office, the investigation began after an initial report was made on Nov. 7 regarding a report of an attempt to cash a fictitious check at a local casino by Lake. Lake reportedly returned that same day and attempted to cash another fictitious check but was refused by the staff after discovering the first check was fraudulent.

Lake was not located at the time of the incident.

During a subsequent investigation, deputies identified evidence of additional involvement in similar check fraud activities, including thefts, forgeries and identity theft involving Lake and Biddy.

Denico Yelvington, 25, was arrested Friday after it was discovered through the investigation that he had been cashing fraudulent checks which had been reportedly forged at Lake’s residence.

Prior to the search warrant being served on Lake’s residence, the Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes detectives reportedly observed a vehicle leaving the house and conducted a traffic stop. The occupants were subsequently identified as Biddy and Barger.

During a search of Lake’s residence, deputies and detectives located evidence of a reportedly elaborate theft scheme which was allegedly being operated out of Lake’s home, as well as stolen checks which were in the process of being altered and forged.

The press release notes that during their search of Lake’s home, deputies also discovered numerous documents and other property from several previously unsolved thefts, burglaries and fraud involving numerous local victims and businesses.

Lake was charged with forgery, uttering a forged instrument, grand larceny, burglary, obtaining money under false pretenses, possession of stolen property, possession of credit or debit card without owner’s consent and possession of identifying information of another for fraudulent purposes.

Lake is being held at the jail for her involvement in the initial check fraud report as well as the above listed charges. Her bail is set at $35,640.

Biddy was charged with conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy uttering forged instrument, conspiracy obtaining money under false pretenses, conspiracy possession of stolen property, conspiracy possession of credit or debit card without owner’s consent and conspiracy possession of identifying information of another for fraudulent purposes.

Biddy is being held at the Nye County Detention Center and bail has been set at $15,000.

Barger was charged with having an unlawfully concealed weapon on his person and is being held on bail in the amount of $5,000.

Yelvington was charged with forgery, attempted grand larceny, petit larceny, obtaining money under false pretenses, uttering a forged instrument and violation of probation.

Yelvington is being held at the Nye County Detention Center. His bail has been set at $25,640.

Detectives are following up on several leads and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information pertaining to this case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 775-751-7000 or by emailing ncso_detectives@co.nye.nv.us, attention Deputy Fowles or Detective Michael Eisenloffel.

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