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Homeless man gets jail, probation for check forgery

A local man who was classified as homeless has been sentenced in Becker County District Court on a felony check forgery charge.

Anthony Francis Santo, 28, was given a stay of sentence imposition on conditions including completion of up to five years of supervised probation, 136 days in jail (with credit for 136 days already served), community service in lieu of a $1,000 court fine, and payment of his share of $15,075 in restitution.

Successful completion of his probation will result in the charge being reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor on his record.

According to the original complaint, Santo and two alleged accomplices were accused of cashing three forged payroll checks totaling more than $14,000 at a Detroit Lakes Bank on Dec. 12.

A subsequent investigation led to suspicion that Santo had been involved in a counterfeit check cashing scheme that had encompassed Fergus Falls, Alexandria and Moorhead as well.

According to the complaint, Santo and his alleged accomplices would cash the checks and give the money to an individual named “Deandre,” who would give him $200 for each cashed check.