Merchant Information On Deceptive Practice Reports
The Champaign Police Department will follow these guidelines when taking Deceptive Practice reports from individuals and businesses in the City of Champaign. The Deceptive Practice Complaint Form is available at the front desk and Teleserve office at the police department.
- The Police Department will take reports on check(s) returned for Non- Sufficient Funds (NSF) and Account Closed (or non-existent account) through the front desk or Teleserve office.
- The merchant or individual must complete the Deceptive Practice Complaint Form, and have all necessary documentation prior to making the report.
- The Police Department will review the reports, and if they meet the following criteria, they will be further investigated.
- Cases will be reviewed for check(s) written between $50 and $300 on an account, and if they meet the program criteria, handled through a City of Champaign Ordinance Violation.
- Cases where the amount is over $300 will be handled as a regular police report, and forwarded to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office for their review and disposition.
- Cases will not be investigated over 90 days after the check was presented.
- Cases will not be investigated for second party checks, or post-dated checks.
- Cases will not be investigated if there has been an agreement made with the check writer for restitution, which they defaulted on. If an agreement was made, but no restitution was received, the case can still be investigated.
- Cases will be investigated on local banks only, with local suspects. If the business chooses to accept out of town checks, a standard police report may be generated.
- Merchant must be able to identify the person receiving the check, to be available as a witness if the case is to be prosecuted.
- Person receiving the check must be able to verify the identity of the person that presented the check.
- Identification information copied onto check; DL/ID number, type, Date of Birth, and photo comparison with person presenting check.
- Address and information verified with information printed on check, and corrected if necessary.
- Thumbprint identification strongly encouraged for all checks.
- Clerk’s identifying mark on the check.
- Merchant must provide documentation of the check being presented to the bank twice (NSF checks) and once for Account Closed.
- Merchant must provide copy of demand letter sent to suspect. (Certified Mail, return receipt). Demand letter must notify the check writer of the check problem, and of their liabilities under the Civil Liability for Deceptive Practices Law (720ILCS 5/17-1(b) Illinois Compiled Statutes), and that their failure to respond to the letter will result in the check being referred to the police department for investigation.
- Merchant must provide original check for evidence.
- Video surveillance of transaction, if available.
- Copy of receipt for goods/services provided.
After the report has been generated, follow up investigation will be completed by the police department to determine what action will be taken. Prior contacts, charges, and convictions will be checked on.
If appropriate, and the suspect can be located locally, a City Notice to Appear (NTA) will be issued to the suspect for Theft, as a City Ordinance Violation.
If the suspect cannot be located locally, or there are prior convictions, the case can be referred to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office for their review for charging under State law for Deceptive Practices, or other appropriate charges.
If the suspect cannot be located, or the case is not appropriate for charging, the check and other documentation can be returned to the merchant for pursuit of Civil charges and collections.