The recent investigation into a fake check led to the arrest of a man and woman who could possibly be responsible for funny money moving across Izard, Fulton and Lawrence Counties.
Shaun Clair Bickford of Horseshoe Bend, is facing multiple charges of forgery after Bickford passed fake checks in multiple counties including Izard and Fulton counties, according to court records.
The charges stem from an initial incident January 22 in Fulton County when, a victim reported to investigators that Bickford had given him a $2,900 fake check as payment for a Dodge Dakota pickup truck. The victim stated he had attempted to cash the check and was advised it appeared fake.
Investigators with the Izard County sheriff’s Office interviewed Bickford about similar incidents.
During an interview, Bickford admitted to giving the check that he knew or believed to be fake that a friend had given him as payment for the truck. Bickford admitted he believed the checks appeared to be real enough to deposit but would eventually be returned.
As a result, in Fulton County, Bickford has been charged with forgery, a class B felony, theft by deception a class D felony and as a habitual offender.
In Izard County, Bickford faces four counts of forgery in the first degree, a class B felony.
The Izard County charges stem from an interaction January 24 when Bickford purchased a generator online through Facebook Market Place and provided the property owner with fake $100 bills.
The victim took the money to the bank and was informed the bills were fake and to report the incident to law enforcement.
On January 24, Authorities arrested 37-year-old Brienna Baney along with Bickford for active misdemeanor warrants out of Izard County. Once at the jail, jailers confiscated 74 fake $100 bills and 68 of the bills confiscated shared the same serial number as those given to the generator’s owner.
A hold was placed on both Bickford and Baney. While serving arrest warrants in Horseshoe Bend, 33 additional fake bills were confiscated from an associate of Bickford and all bills located were consistent with the bills located from Baney and Bickford.
Just before their arrest, Izard County Authorities were made aware of the incident in Fulton County.
On January 25, authorities interviewed Baney who said she had ordered the fake money online and was planning on using them for her grandkids to learn how to count money.
When asked about the events leading up to her arrest, Baney stated she had been with Bickford who purchased a truck in Fulton County and the two had also ridden to Ravenden together to purchase a camper.
Baney stated Bickford had arranged both transactions through Facebook and stated both the truck and camper were purchased using checks given to Bickford from another resident of Horseshoe Bend.
When asked about the generator, Baney said Bickford had set up the deal for the generator and knew he was using fake money to purchase the generator.
Baney also stated that the checks passed in Fulton and Lawrence Counties were bad.
An interview was also conducted with Bickford, who stated the $100 bills were not counterfeit money but prop money and that he had purchased the bills online and had just ordered $10,000.
When asked what he had ordered the money for, he said “a game like Monopoly money”.
When asked about the truck, Bickford said he’d paid a man with a check for $500 and had also written a check for the camper.
Bickford stated he and his girlfriend, Sherry Anderson had written the check for the camper and that Baney had not signed any checks. He told authorities Anderson owed him for old debts and that they had paid $4,300 for the camper but stated none of the money was fake, however; area financial institutions proved otherwise.
As a result, in Izard County, Bickford faces four counts of forgery in the first degree, a class B felony.
Additional charges are pending in other counties.
As of press time, charges related to the case have not been brought against Baney in Izard County.