Bideford man guilty of fraud after altering £4 cheque to £4,000
A man who altered a £4 cheque in an attempt to gain more than £4,000 has pleaded guilty to fraud.
Simeon Chami, 34, appeared at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday accused of committing fraud by falsifying a cheque for his own gain.
Chami, of High street, Bideford, altered a cheque he was given for selling scrap metal before attempting to cash it at a high street store.
Simon Jarvis, for the prosecution, said Chami was given a cheque by South West Metals for £4.29 on September 2.
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He then changed the sum of money on the cheque to £4024.71 before taking it to The Money Shop.
However, The Money Shop immediately realised the cheque had been tampered with and refused to cash it.
Mr Jarvis said Chami had admitted practicing the alterations to the cheque beforehand on an envelope which he said showed some form of premeditation.
Tim Hook, for the defence, described it as a “bold and extremely optimistic attempt to gain a sum of money”.
He said: “Sophisticated is not a word you would use to describe this crime. It was detected instantaneously.
“It’s a simple fraud transaction not targeting a vulnerable victim and involved little planning.
“He has committed this because he has no money. He has no other reason to commit an offence of falsifying a cheque.”
Chami, who appeared in court on a dishonesty charge in February 2008, said: “I have a brother in Trinidad who is begging for my help which is why I’ve done this. I have no money which is why I’ve done this desperate act."
As he was leaving the court, an irate Chami told the magistrates bench: “I don’t have tattoos or EDL on my head”.
The case was adjourned for probationary reports.