Bad Check Program

Bad Check Program

How does the program work?

  • Merchant makes an appointment with the bad check clerk. These appointments will be on Thursday afternoons and will take place at our office at 303 Court Street, Room 307, Covington. (appointments are required because it allows us to be prepared to better meet your needs)
  • Merchant brings all bad checks to the appointment. Clerk will make copies of the checks, return originals to the merchant; a new appointment is made for the merchant to return in two weeks.
  • From these copies the clerk will send out notices to all the check writers informing them to return to the merchant within ten days of the notice, pay the face value of the check, any fees the merchant attaches, plus a $50.00 fee the merchant will now collect for the county attorney.
  • On the Tuesday prior to the merchant's next appointment, the merchant is to call the county attorney's bad check clerk at 491-0600 and give her a status of the checks that the clerk had sent notices out on from the previous appointment. The merchant will tell us who has and who has not paid. On the ones that have not paid the clerk will prepare a criminal complaint and the merchant will return on their Thursday appointment, give the original check to the clerk, and sign a complaint against the check writer. For the ones that have paid, the merchant will pay the clerk the $50.00 fee and we close the case.
  • After the merchant signs a complaint or closes all the cases from the previous appointment, the clerk will take any new checks the merchant has received since the previous appointment and the entire process begins again. So at each appointment the merchant is closing the previous batch of check cases and opening new ones.
  • Once a merchant signs a criminal complaint, the county attorney's will make every effort to collect the monies owed to the merchant and to the courts. Once the complaint is signed, the merchant will never have to deal with the check writer again on that case unless it goes to trial. If a defendant attempts to pay a merchant once the merchant has filed a criminal complaint, the merchant MUST refer the check writer to the county attorney for payment. The check writer must now deal directly with the county attorney and the court system.
  • On a monthly basis, payments of paid checks will be made to the merchants along with a detailed listing of those that have made the payments. The case will then be closed and the original check will be returned to the check writer.

What law allows the prosecution of people who write bad checks?

The Bad Check Program operates under the Theft by Deception Statute, KRS 514.040.

Who are our clients?

The Bad Check Program serves nearly 700 + businesses in Kenton County. These businesses include pharmacies, grocery stores, retail department stores, restaurants, daycares, city governments, attorneys, doctors, electricians, civic organizations, car repair shops, florists, hotels, gas stations and etc. We serve business ranging from corporate conglomerates to mom-and-pop businesses.

What is our collection rate?

In the past 20 years, the Kenton County Attorney's Office has collected over$1.5 million in restitution, serving over 700 Kenton County merchants..

What are the benefits of using our program?

Our program is a free governmental service with the merchant's convenience in mind. Collection agencies charge between 25-50% of the check's face value and usually wind up filing charges in our office anyway. Additionally, the $50 collection fee paid by the offender helps fund other operations in our office including educational programs. Essentially, we are using the criminal's money to provide important programs for the community.

What steps can I take to avoid becoming a victim of a cold check?

  • Check a picture ID
  • Write the Driver's License Number on the check
  • Confirm the information on the check matches the information on the picture ID
  • Write the person's date of birth on the check
  • Do not accept third party checks