|Published:||Oct 22, 2012 7:41 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 22, 2012 9:50 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Another suspect in a major check fraud ring involving the Lee County School district was sentenced Monday. Tabish Bellot, 24, was given probation and ordered to pay back money stolen as part of an elaborate bogus check scam.
Bellot's attorney told the judge his client was duped into thinking he was helping another man. He said Bellot was approached outside a Walmart and asked for help cashing a check, which turned out to be a fake.
"It was an incredibly stupid decision, and he knows that," Bellot's attorney said in court. "This was... an isolated incident for which Mr. Bellot has shown extreme remorse."
Bellot's attorney pointed out he has no criminal history and has never been in trouble before.
Bellot is one of some 30 people arrested over the summer, accused of trying to cash bogus Lee County School District payroll checks. The scam resulted in the loss of some $60,000 from area businesses.
WINK News went through the list of suspects and found at least 20 have already cleared the court system by pleading guilty or no contest to the charges. Sentences have ranged from probation to jail time.
"The vast majority of these people were simply down on their luck and were asked if they could cash a check," Bellot's attorney told the judge.
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