County jailers arrested in check-cashing scheme

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Five Shelby County corrections deputies and one former corrections deputy have been arrested in a check-cashing scheme, county officials confirmed Friday.

Shaparis Rice, Randy Jones, Jameshia Trenell and Alexis McNeil were charged with theft of property $2,500 to $10,000, which is a Class D felony.

Their co-worker Jacqueline Holmes was charged with one Class C felony count of theft of property $10,000 to $60,000.

Travis Deshun Logwood was charged with theft of property $1,000 to $2,500, which is a Class E felony.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office spokesman Earle Farrell confirmed the fraud involved a credit union, but said he did not know which one.

They are accused of something called "check kiting," which sheriff's office officials described as writing checks and depositing them, then withdrawing cash and stopping payment on the checks.

Memphis attorney Joseph McClusky said you can write checks from an account with insufficient funds and deposit the money in another account.

"You've got money in your account that you shouldn't really have," said McClusky.

While the bank waits for the check to clear, you can still access the non-existent funds and purchase things. You can even write and cash a new check before the checks finally bounce.

"So if you're really good and you structure it really well, you can make a huge chain that just keeps growing and growing and growing and so you could get into some pretty massive numbers pretty quickly," said McClusky.

It wasn't immediately clear Friday how intricate the jailers' alleged scheme was or for how long it allegedly went on.

All five current Shelby County Corrections deputies have been suspended without pay pending the completion of the investigation.

Longwood had previously been terminated last year for an unrelated matter, the sheriff's office said.