Arrest made in check fraud case
A man who allegedly ran an extensive check fraud scheme in Union county and other parts of Northeast Oregon has been arrested.
Luis Ernesto Fuentes-Parada, 27, was arrested Tuesday on a Union County Northwest States felony warrant while lodged at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario.
The felony warrant charged Fuentes-Parada with racketeering, four counts of second-degree forgery, two counts of second-degree theft, four counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and two counts of third-degree theft.
Law enforcement officials suspect that Fuentes-Parada ran his alleged check scheme in at least late 2012.
"It was a fairly sophisticated operation," said Capt. Craig Ward of the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Ward explained that Fuentes-Parada allegedly produced fraudulent checks with a check producing machine and a computer program.
Fuentes-Parada is suspected of writing bogus checks in at leasat Union, Baker and Umatilla counties.
"We strongly suspect he was operatin in all three counties," Ward said.
Parada has been incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution since Feb. 27, 2013. He is serving time there after being convicted of charges of first-degree theft and six counts of identity theft.
Fuentes-Parada is believed to have lived in Umatilla County before he was incarcerated.
Fuentes-Parada has a number of last name aliases according to information provided by the Snake River Correctional Institution. The aliases include Parada, Fuentes Parada and Fuentesparada.