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Two people have been indicted after they allegedly attempted to cash forged money orders in Henry and Shelby County businesses.
Anthony J. Hewitt, 31, Crestwood, is charged with 20 counts second-degree forgery. Miranda Armstrong, 27, of Eminence, is charged with four counts possession of a forged instrument.
In July, Armstrong purchased 20 money orders for $2 each at the Eminence post office, according to post office employee Angie Lantz.
Lantz said Armstrong told her she needed the money orders to send on behalf of her father for child support.
“I told her it would be a lot cheaper to buy one for the full amount instead of paying the fees for all those money orders,” she said. “She (Armstrong) looked kind of flustered and left.”
Lantz said Armstrong returned saying her father told her to go ahead and purchase the money orders.
Armstrong allegedly returned to the Eminence Post Office on a Friday and cashed a money order for $500.
Lantz said she cashed the money order after checking Armstrong’s identification. “I guess I’m too trusting a soul,” she said. “I can’t tell you how ridiculous I felt.”
Lantz said later that afternoon she got a call from employees at the Shelbyville post office, where a woman was trying to cash a money order.
Lantz said she checked a report of money orders sold earlier in the week and found the cashed money order was the same as one she sold to Armstrong.
Lantz reported the incident to Eminence police. Eminence Police Maj. Kevin Kemper said he'd recently completed a class in Nashville, Tenn., where he learned about forged instruments.
“I kind of knew what was going on,” Kemper said.
He said Armstrong also tried twice to cash a money order at Bob’s Liquor Store in Eminence, once at Check-to-Cash in Shelbyville, twice at the Shelbyville post office, and at least once at a Louisville bank.
When Kemper phoned the Shelbyville branch, he was told Armstrong was on the premises.
Upon her arrest, Armstrong told police she was working with a Hispanic male, however, after her release from jail, Armstrong pointed the finer at Hewitt.
Armstrong told police she knew Hewitt from Thirsty’s Bar in Eminence.
Kemper said he believes Hewitt's wife owns the bar. A liquor license filed in September 2008 lists Hewitt's Crestwood address.
The woman listed as owner of Thirsty’s on the liquor license application, Milissa Miller, posted Hewitt’s bond.
Kemper said Armstrong hung around the bar and got to know Hewitt. “She (Armstrong) had been doing some odd jobs for him,” he said. “She said she was afraid of him.”
Armstrong told the detective Hewitt gave her cash to buy 20 money orders in $2 increments.
Armstrong alleges that Hewitt then altered the amounts on the money orders to $500, police said. She said Hewitt made the changes in the kitchen of Thirsty’s Bar.
Hewitt is no stranger to the legal system, according to court records in Oregon – his former state of residence.
Oregon Department of Corrections Public Affairs Administrator Jennifer Black provided a criminal history that dates back to 1996.
Hewitt's previous convictions include:
• September, 1996 — probated sentence of 24 months for unauthorized use of vehicle.
• May, 1997 — 18 months for burglary 1
• May 1997 — probation for theft 1
• May 1997 — one year and 18 months for criminal mischief 1
• June 1999 — 90 months for robbery 1
• June 1999 — 70 months for robbery 2
• June 1999 — 70 months for robbery 2
Hewitt was only terminated in the Oregon system May 25, 2009.
Armstrong’s criminal record, though far shorter, is much closer to home.
A case of flagrant non-support from September 2008 is pending in Gallatin County. She was found guilty of third-degree criminal mischief in the same county in January 2007.
Armstrong was found guilty of public intoxication (controlled substance) in April 2005 as well as carrying a concealed deadly weapon.
Hewitt and Armstrong will be arraigned Oct. 15 in Henry County circuit court.