Source: Sherman Publications

Lake Orion police bust check forger

by Gabriel Ouzounian

January 25, 2012

By Gabriel Ouzounian

Review Staff Writer

According to Lake Orion Police, Pontiac resident Todd Ulmer seemed to brag about the quality and effectiveness of his forgeries.

Ulmer, 47, was arraigned on Jan. 9 at 52/3 District Court before Magistrate Melinda Balian on ninea counts of uttering and publishing - each count a 14-year felony - and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. The total amount on the checks passed was $4,772.

According to LOPD Chief Jerry Narsh, Ulmer was able to survive since January 2011 on the false checks with no job and no bank account.

“In this depressed economy, check fraud and other scams have become almost commonplace,” said Narsh. “With the advent of easily accessible and superior software and printers, it is almost impossible to determine the validity of checks and other financial instruments on their face.

“It’s a type of crime that is difficult to resolve and seldom does the victim recover losses. Still, it’s important to know about these crimes so we can stop it.”

The case began to develop on Sept. 14, 2011 when a local landlord arrived at LOPD officers to report two checks from a tenant that were returned by the bank as being false. LOPD investigated the checks and found them and their supposed companies to be fictional.

At around the same time according to Lake Orion Police, the Village of Lake Orion also reported receiving a series of four checks from Ulmer for fees and passes. These checks also came back from the bank as false.

An investigation followed, quickly leading LOPD to Ulmer’s home. He invited the officers in without incident and, after a short questioning, admitted to everything. He told officers how he did online research on forgery and even created stationary for the fictional companies to “buy more time.” He eventually directed the officers to his home computer and said he created everything from software he had on his personal computer.

He printed all checks, stationary and more from his home printer.

“I’ve talked with folks in the banking industry and they all say before they present the check to be deposited, people should determine the validity of the check by contacting the bank from where it was drawn or the company that wrote it,” said Narsh. “We’re now using Mr. Ulmer’s computer to find more victims through remaining documents. We did locate the originating documents and we’re using them as part of the prosecution.”

Ulmer had a history of forgery, with convictions dating back to 1990. Ulmer was unable to post his $30,000 bail and was held at Oakland County Jail where he remained until his court date on Jan. 17.