For immediate release For more information:
Al Strekow, 414-529-2133
HALES CORNERS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS PROGRAM ON CHECK DIVERSION
(February 16, 2011) ...The Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce sponsored an informal lecture entitled “Tired of Losing Money to Bad Checks?” on Wednesday, February 16th, at the Open Flame Restaurant, 5081 South 108th Street. Featured speaker Detective Kent Schoonover of the Hales Corners Police Department provided commentary on a program which provides restitution for victims of bad check writing. The program was instituted two years ago by District Attorney John T. Chisolm and is now implemented in 29 counties in Wisconsin and all of Minnesota.
Detective Schoonover distributed an eight-page guide which explained the program in some detail and included a copy of the report which merchants and residents would have to fill out in order to register a complaint. He explained that, in the past, the Hales Village Police Department would have to issue a warrant in order to obtain the money owed even if it was a very small amount. They would have to collect the reimbursement first and finally make restitution to the victim. Unfortunately, the warrant could languish for years and, at best, the victim would only receive the face value of the bad check; there would be no remuneration for the bank’s fee on cancelled checks.
Under the new program, the Police Department does not need to be involved unless the check amount exceeds $2,500, which would make it a felony. That eliminates the need to issue warrants to people who, in most cases, write bad checks because they have poor math skills rather than criminal intent. Detective Schoonover said that the program has been extremely successful for two main reasons: the victim receives the face value of the check plus any charges from their bank; the check-writer is not prosecuted or fined, but they are charged for a basic accounting course which teaches them how to balance their checkbook from now on.
The event was hosted by the management of the Open Flame Restaurant over breakfast. Among those in attendance were: Dennis Allsteen (Liberty Tax), Kent Bieganski (Hales Corners Chief of Police), Jim Gilboy (Data Facts), Fred Licau (MW Marine), Bob Ruesch (Hales Corners Village President), Don Schwartz (Chamber President), Jennine Sontag (Municipal Judge candidate), Dan Sullivan (Auto Body Express CarStar).
The Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce regularly sponsors guest speakers and networking events to acquaint local businesses with one another. Because guests are welcome and encouraged, these events also provide hosting businesses with the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the entire community.
For more information on upcoming events, please see the Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce website: www.halescornerschamber.org.
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