Area building contractor accused of forging check

By Janice Gregorson

A Lake City building contractor who allegedly forged a check to obtain more than $100,000 in cash faces criminal charges in Olmsted District Court.

James Aldon Parks, 77, is to make his first appearance on the felony complaint Monday. He is charged with one count of check forgery.

According to the complaint, Parks passed a check, described as either stolen or counterfeited, belonging to a Tennessee firm. The check was made payable to Parks in the amount of $114,563 and drawn on the Union Planters Bank of Collierville, Tenn.


Parks took the check to his Rochester attorney, Daniel Doda. Doda deposited the check into one of the law firm’s trust accounts at Eastwood Bank in Rochester. The complaint said Parks returned to the law firm several times requesting a portion of the funds. The law firm issued Parks eight checks totaling $109,563 between April 28, 2006, and May 24, 2006.

The complaint says that in October 2006, the Tennessee firm learned that a check it had issued to Outdoor Life Network had been stolen and altered, and endorsed by Parks. The company said it has never had business contacts with Parks.

When interviewed by the postal inspector and the FBI in October 2006, Parks said he had been involved in an investment opportunity involving several people from the U.S. and overseas. He said he solicited investors to become involved and that he had sent large amounts of money overseas.

Parks told investigators that he was aware the check he passed through the Rochester law firm had come back as a fraud. He claimed the check was sent to him by an attorney in Spain who was handling financial affairs for an investor from Hong Kong. Parks also admitted keeping more than $50,000 of the proceeds from the check.

This is not the first time Parks has faced criminal charges for alleged fraudulent activity. He was charged in October 2006 in Wabasha County with felony check forgery after police there were called by a bank about counterfeit travelers checks. Bank officials said 19 checks had been cashed by two people who later told police that they cashed the checks for Parks.

In that case, Parks pleaded guilty to an amended charge of gross misdemeanor theft in April 2007 and was put on probation for two years, given credit for nine days served in jail and ordered to pay restitution of $10,100, in addition to paying $207 in court fines and fees. He was ordered to do 50 hours community work service and have no transactions with the Lake City Federal Bank.

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