A Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputy has been indicted in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for allegedly forging two checks in 2015.
James F. Cuccarese II, 45, of Delaware, was indicted Wednesday on two counts of forgery, fourth-degree felonies, and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony.
The case is being investigated by the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien issued a statement Wednesday, detailing the allegations in the case.
“While off duty and not in uniform, [Cuccarese] forged two checks for his own personal gain.” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Special Investigations Unit concluded an investigation involving Cuccarese on theft and forgery allegations that Cuccarese had altered a check payable to him from The Bainbridge Firm, LLC and then later presented that check at a bank in Franklin County for payment in the end of November 2015.
O’Brien said a stop payment was made on that check on December 1, 2015 and the $11,250 funds were withdrawn from Cuccarese’s account. On Dec. 7, 2015, Cuccarese presented a check for $12,000 at a bank in Franklin County with the forged signature of the owner of Worthington Wellness Center, Inc. Cuccarese was a part-time employee at WWC for several years.
At the time the check was presented at the bank, the bank contacted the owner, who denied writing the check and the check was subsequently held without processing.
“If convicted of these charges, Cuccarese would be required to forfeit his Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy certificate,” O’Brien stated.
Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin issued the following statement about the indictment:
“Once the allegation was brought to our attention, we immediately placed Jim Cuccarese on paid administrative leave, which was May 23rd of this year,” Martin said. “With learning [Wednesday] the results of the investigation and the grand jury’s formal indictment, we have placed him on unpaid administrative leave – effective immediately. Our Office will now initiate an administrative investigation into the matter, as required by Ohio law.”
Cuccarese’s arraignment in Franklin County Common Pleas Court has been scheduled for Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.