Three people arrested on check forgery charges in Brookings County

July 17, 2023

BROOKINGS, S.D.–Brookings police say three people have been arrested after trying to cash forged checks at multiple banks in town.

Last week, Brookings police received a report of someone trying to pass a fraudulent check at a bank in the 1300 block of 6th St.

The suspect left before officers arrived. A bank employee followed the suspect to a vehicle, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol stopped the suspect’s vehicle on I-29.

Thirty nine year-old Phillip Piper Jr. of Sioux Falls was arrested for Passing a Forged Instrument.

Two people from Georgia — 36-year-old Shankissia Cato and 25-year-old Travaris Johnson — were arrested for Possession of a Forged Instrument and Aiding and Abetting.

Brookings police report that Cato and Johnson stole mail out of local businesses’ mailboxes to obtain checks.

The suspects recruited homeless individuals to cash fraudulent checks they had printed.

Police say the suspects were likely involved in a similar incident in Toronto, South Dakota as well.