Police in Airway Heights have busted a ring of forgery suspects who used bogus receipts to rip off stores and the Northern Quest Casino.
The scheme was that a forger would sit in his car with a digital printer, send in one of his runners with the receipt and see if it would fool the cashiers. Sometimes the scam worked but ultimately the casino caught on and handed over the suspects to police.
At the casino's Camas Club, members earn royalty rewards and can redeem their points for cash or entertainment. The forgers gambled just enough to get a legitimate point receipt and then printed off one with a greatly inflated value.
Once the casino was wise to the scam the forgers were forced to move on to stores like Wal-Mart, which is where their bogus receipts allowed them to pull down a very high tech form of shoplifting.
First the runner would go inside and take a picture of the bar code on big ticket items like flat screen TVs. The items were then returned for cash with the runners getting a 20 to 40-percent cut of whatever they stole.
The master forger, who has not been arrested yet, is a former home builder who went broke when he got hooked on meth.
Meanwhile, Northern Quest Casino and the Washington State Gambling Commission have worked together to install new security features on their rewards program.
This joint investigation by the Airway Heights Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff's Office also prompted stores in the area to change up the way their receipts are handed as well.