NORTH HAVEN — An East Haven man faces charges after police said he cashed one forged check from a local business and attempted to use forged checks at a wedding venue and attorney’s office last year.
Michael Anastasio, 32, of 140 Thompson St., East Haven, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with second-degree forgery, fourth-degree larceny, criminal attempt to commit second-degree larceny and criminal attempt to commit third-degree larceny.
On Sept. 17, 2018 police were dispatched to OF Mossberg & Sons, 7 Grasso Ave., for a report of check fraud, according to the arrest warrant. A company official told police Anastasio was issued a check from Mossberg for $246 for travel expenses during a business trip. After the check was issued, someone attempted to cash three more checks with the same check number, according to the warrant. One check was accepted and two were declined.
The declined checks were made out to a woman for $5,000, and an attorney’s office for $11,464, the warrant said. The cashed check was made out to Anastasio for $1,464.
Anastasio told police he cashed the travel expense check for $246 and had no idea how the check was duplicated and forged. Anastasio said he “had no knowledge” of the woman or the attorney’s office, the warrant noted. While investigating, police learned that another forged check with the same number was presented on Oct. 17, 2018 to a wedding venue in Hamden for $9,752.48, the warrant said.
Police investigating determined the woman whose name was on the fraudulent check was listed as Anastasio’s beneficiary with Mossberg and that the attorney had previously represented Anastasio. Police contacted the wedding venue and were informed Anastasio used the check as partial payment for his wedding reception with the woman. An employee of the venue told police Anastasio said the check was from his father’s business, but that it was declined when the wedding venue employee attempted to deposit it.
Anastasio denied using the check and said the signature on the back was not his. Anastasio said the check was on his desk at work and “someone may have taken it off his desk and made a copy,” the warrant said.
Mossberg representatives could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Anastasio could not be reached for comment.
Anastasio was arraigned in Meriden Superior Court on Wednesday. According to statements in court, he has a previous conviction for failure to appear in court. The judge released him on a promise to appear and continued the case to June 19.