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Rexburg man on probation after stealing thousands using forged checks

Crime Watch

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Benjamin Scott Calderon | Madison County Jail

REXBURG — A Rexburg man who pleaded to forgery after he stole thousands of dollars by cashing checks taken from a woman’s mailbox received his sentence Monday.

District Judge Steven Boyce placed 25-year-old Benjamin Scott Calderon on four years of probation, suspending a two- to four-year prison sentence. As part of the plea agreement between Calderon and prosecutors, one count of forgery, two counts of grand theft, one count of accessing of a financial transaction card or number without consent and one count of computer crime were dropped.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the Rexburg Police Department received a complaint of fraud on Feb. 25, from a woman claiming her bank, KeyBank, had questions about two checks cashed from her account. The two checks were written for $5,000 and $4,000 and written out to someone by the name of Benjamin Calderon, who had added himself to her account. The memo line on the check contained the words “money for school.”

RELATED: Man accused of stealing thousands by cashing checks taken from woman’s mailbox

Calderon told detectives he had gotten ahold of some checks while going through people’s mail and used them. He said he cashed the first check for $4,000 at KeyBank and the second one for $5,000 at a Wells Fargo. He said the second check did not go through, and he did not obtain those funds. He told investigators he used the $4,000 to catch up on rent and bills, according to the court documents.

“(Calderon) stated that after he had done it he had regretted it. He went on to say that he was willing to take the punishment for what he had done,” according to court documents.

According to court documents Boyce agreed to the request to withhold judgment, meaning if Calderon is successful on probation, the charge is off his record. Additionally, Boyce ordered Calderon to pay $1,245 in fees and fines.