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Local scammed by fraudulent check scheme
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Times are tough with the economic downturn and no one would not be faulted for looking for ways to relieve some of their monetary stresses and burdens.

Covington resident Billy Queen, 70, was hoping that he was about to get some financial help after receiving a letter in his mailbox from an International Settlement Services in Montreal, Canada on Oct. 10.

Peter Adams, a supposed clearing commissioner from Canada sent Queen the letter rewarding him a check of $80,000. He spoke with Mr. Adams, who by letter, told Queen he would have to pay a processing fee before actually cashing the check or it would be null and void. He was also told to keep all information confidential until it was completely processed. Queen then went to the bank to withdraw the $1,100 where he was told to pay the fee through the Newton Federal Credit Union, then told to send to someone by the name of Francis Laberge.

Queen said that he didn't have a significant amount of money in his account to begin with, but continued the process for the retrieval of this huge lump sum of money which would significantly benefit his family.

Adams told Queen that he would receive the certified cashiers check through Federal Express and informed him that the taxes would already be paid for the $80,000 he would receive. Queen soon found out that the check he was hoping for was fraudulent and immediately contacted the Covington Police Department after the bank declined the altered check.

Queen said he traveled to Canada a few years ago, but is unsure whether or not this incident relates to his visit. Queen hopes by sharing his story will keep readers and residents on alert from becoming victims themselves.

Queen has been a resident of Covington for the past 40 years. He worked for Hercules, now renamed Fiber Visions Manufacturing Company in Covington for 25 years and has since then retired due to disability.