Check scheme under investigation

MANALAPAN — One Newark resident is under arrest and two more Newark residents are being sought in connection with a check scam they have allegedly perpetrated in seven New Jersey counties.

Manalapan police described the suspects as a ring of black males and said they are continuing to investigate the passing of counterfeit checks in Manalapan, as well as numerous other jurisdictions in Monmouth, Middlesex, Union, Essex, Morris, Ocean and Somerset counties.

According to a press release from the Manalapan Police Department, Bernard J. Anderson, 27, was arrested on March 7 at his residence in Newark. Two search warrants — one for his home and one for a rental vehicle in his name — were executed in conjunction with his arrest. Police said numerous items were seized in conjunction with the execution of those warrants.

Anderson was charged with multiple counts of forgery, uttering a forgery, tampering with or falsifying records and possession of fraudulent government documents, according to police. He is facing additional charges including credit card theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy and identity theft.

Police said Anderson was committed to the Monmouth County jail, Freehold Township, in default of $25,000 bail with no 10 percent option, set by Municipal Court Judge James Newman, police said.

On March 14 an attempt was made to arrest two other suspects, Zachary Johnson, 24, and Eric Wallace, 34, both of Newark, at their residences. Police said neither suspect could be located, but said two search warrants were executed on their homes. Numerous items were seized in conjunction with the warrant for Johnson’s residence, but no items were recovered at Wallace’s residence. Criminal warrants have been signed against Johnson and Wallace, according to police.

Johnson and Wallace face numerous charges of forgery, uttering a forgery, theft by deception, conspiracy, identity theft and receiving stolen property, police said.

The Manalapan investigation is continuing by Detective Joseph Moreto. Assisting in the investigation and search warrants were Detective Samuel Britton, Detective Eric Schmidt, Detective Robert Rushnak, Detective Sgt. Thomas Barstow and patrolmen Michael Ratta, Robert Pease and Kevin Schmidt, as well as officers and detectives from the Newark Police Department.