About The Check Recovery Program
Merchants in Kings County lose thousands of dollars each year due to insufficient fund and account closed checks. Many merchants are willing to accept personal checks from customers, but some customers write checks for goods and services without sufficient funds to cover their obligations. The merchant loses and the patrons of the business lose with the result being higher prices passed on to the consumers. In addition, taxpayers also lose due to valuable police time being expended for investigation of bad check writers before the District Attorney offices are able to prosecute the offenders.
This program is designed to help protect and seek justice for our communities by removing some of the investigation burden from local law enforcement agencies and providing new methods of obtaining restitution for victims while also educating offenders. Kings County is one of several counties in California that has established a Bad Check Recovery & Prosecution Program to track down bad check writers, return money to victims and deter future offenses through an educational diversion program. In cases where the bad check writer fails to cooperate, he or she will be subject to possible criminal prosecution.
To help make the Check Recovery Program successful in Kings County requires that all merchants and persons accepting checks practice a sensible check cashing policy by obtaining proper picture identification, verifying and documenting each check accepted. Available from the District Attorney's Office is a list of suggested check cashing guidelines for merchants and others to follow.
How to Apply
Victims may participate in the program by completing a “Bad Check Crime Report” Form. You may obtain the form from the District Attorney's Office, your local Chamber of Commerce, local law enforcement agency or by clicking here
Complete the crime report, staple the original bad check to the report, and mail it to the District Attorney's Office Check Recovery Unit. Only one check per crime report. Incomplete forms will be returned and will cause a delay in processing the case.
In addition, if you are a business owner and would like to display a warning to check writers that bad check writers will be reported to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution, click here to download the warning sign.
The Kings County District Attorney's Office, Check Recovery Unit, provides this service at no cost to the victims. Any person or business who receives a bad check is eligible to submit to the Unit for prosecution the original bad check with other appropriate documentation and the “Bad Check Crime Report” form if the following conditions are met:
- The check must have been written and passed within Kings County.
- The victim must submit an insufficient fund check to the bank twice
before referring it to this program (Or, if you call the bank a minimum
of five days after receiving the returned check the first time and
learn that there are still insufficient funds, you may submit the check then. Documentation of such calls or actions should be made.)
- Account closed checks need only be submitted to the bank once.
When a bad check writer pays restitution to the D.A. Check Recovery Unit, the funds will be recorded then deposited into a trust account. Restitution collected will be sent to victims monthly. However, please keep in mind, the District Attorney's Office is a prosecuting agency and therefore we can make no collection guarantees. Once a victim submits a bad check to the program, they cannot accept restitution on that check from anyone other than the District Attorney's Office.