SANTA FE — Two men are charged with cashing or trying to cash fraudulent New Mexico School for the Deaf checks two years ago. One of them didn’t make it very hard for police to find him, by putting his name and address on the checks.
One defendant was recently indicted by a grand jury. The other currently has a bench warrant out for his arrest.
Rene Geisseler, 41, was indicted this week on three counts of forgery and three counts of fraud for cashing fake checks for over $8,800 from a School for the Deaf account. He was initially charged in Santa Fe Magistrate Court in May 2017 for the alleged crimes, records show.
Christopher Neal, 55, was also charged with one count of fraud for taking part in the scheme. A bench warrant has been out for him since June 2017.
In May 2017, an accountant at the school told Santa Fe police that he learned from two different First National Bank branches in Santa Fe that checks had been cashed using the NMSD bank account, according to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court.
The accountant showed Officer Denis Mares two fake checks that had Geisseler’s name and Albuquerque address on them. One check also listed Geisseler’s driver’s license number. Mares ran the license number through a crime database and confirmed Geisseler’s address was the same as the one on the fraudulent check.
Later that day another SFPD officer arrested a man, later identified as Neal, for trying to cash a fraudulent check at a First National Bank office. Neal told police that earlier that morning he was walking on Central near San Mateo in Albuquerque when a car with two men pulled up near him and asked him if he wanted to make $300. Neal said he agreed, a criminal complaint says.
“Neal said the occupants then printed a check payable to him from the New Mexico School for the Deaf,” the complaint says.
Neal said he was driven to two different banks in Albuquerque to cash the check but was denied both times. They then drove to First National Bank in Santa Fe, where Neal was arrested. He’s wanted now for failure to comply with subsequent court orders.