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Mazariego: I Didn't Forge Donation Check

Abelino Mazariego, son of the 47-year-old Summit man murdered in July, is charged with altering, forging check.

ELIZABETH–Abelino Mazariego, the son of the Summit man murdered on July 17 by several area teenagers, appeared in Union County Superior Court on Friday on forgery charges.

Mazariego was charged by Summit police on Sept. 2 with third-degree forgery for allegedly altering a check given as a donation to his family in the wake of his father's death.

The check, originally written for $250, was cashed at Wachovia Bank for $1,250.

It wasn't until the check's author, a woman with the initials B.C., got her account statement and realized the check was cashed for a different amount than when she wrote it that police were notified.

Det. Steve Zagorski said police did a handwriting analysis on the check and determined that a number one and a comma had been added to check's amount.

A friend of Mazariego's who accompanied him to court said the 26-year-old didn't do it.

In court, also speaking through a court-appointed translator, he declined the public defender and said he was hiring his own attorney to fight the charges.

Mazariego's next court appearance is Oct. 21 at 8:30 a.m. before the Hon. John Triarsi.

Summithing2say September 11, 2010 at 04:06 PM
Hiring his own layer with what? The money he received from donations? This is sick.
Elmoe September 13, 2010 at 01:42 PM
This story states that the check was forged by adding the numeral one and a comma to the amount of the check. Was a change also made to the written words of the amount of the check? (I would imagine it would be very difficult to squeeze the words "one thousand" into that space on a check.) If the numeral amount and the written amount did not coincide, why did the bank cash the check? Mr. Mazariego is being charged based on a handwriting analysis of the numeral one and a comma that was conducted by the police? The police are qualified to do handwriting analysis? I have a lot of questions about this story - don't you?
CC September 13, 2010 at 02:54 PM
John O: Agreed. Elmoe: The bank clearly should not have cashed the check as the written amount was not updated. However, if a one and a comma were added to the check and it was cashed by Mr. Mazariego (who then received the excess money), who else would be adding the one and the comma - the bank teller? And yes, there are detectives on the police force who investigated and gathered the appropriate evidence in this case (as I'm sure this is not the first handwriting analysis to be done by the SPD).
Christine T September 13, 2010 at 04:18 PM
Okay, to clear some information up for Elmoe, here is factual information....This man changed the numerical amount on the check and did not change any of the written words. The bank should have caught it, but they didn't. He also signed the back of the check, which was proven to be his handwriting. He deposited it into either his own account at Wachovia or his family's account. He admitted his guilt to his boss and to the police.

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