Calvert County, MD – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners recently commended the Check-Fraud Response Team from the Department of Finance & Budget for their outstanding efforts in combating check fraud. The team received the prestigious Team Excellence Award for their remarkable achievements.

From left to right: Commissioner Mike Hart (Vice President); Commissioner Catherine Grasso; Susie Sydnor; Dianne Phelps; Kim Money; Lorrie Marcum; Sherry Parker; Commissioner Mark Cox Sr.; Commissioner Earl F. “Buddy” Hance (President); Commissioner Todd Ireland. Not pictured: Robin Lynch. Credit: Calvert County Government

In the autumn of 2022, the sheriff’s offices in Southern Maryland began receiving a surge of complaints related to fraud incidents involving checks sent through the U.S. mail. The impact was significant, with one local nonprofit reporting a staggering one-day loss exceeding $70,000. However, the Check-Fraud Response Team stepped up to the challenge, displaying their unwavering commitment and professionalism.

Comprising a group of dedicated individuals, including Dianne Phelps, Lorrie Marcum, and Sherry Parker, the team skillfully handled the influx of requests to void, reissue, and mail checks. Between July 11, 2022, and February 17, 2023, the team diligently processed approximately 227 voided and reissued checks. Robin Lynch and Kim Money expertly oversaw the banking procedures, ensuring seamless stop payments and wire processing. Additionally, Susie Sydnor was pivotal in issuing replacement checks for individuals who relied on U.S. mail for their paychecks. Undoubtedly, their collective efforts demonstrated the true essence of teamwork.

The Check-Fraud Response Team exceeded by accommodating vendors’ requests to collect their checks personally. Moreover, from October 7, 2022, to February 24, 2023, the team meticulously handled an impressive volume of priority mail, processing a staggering 2,523 items. Each piece was recorded with a tracking number to enable verification of delivery. Meanwhile, amidst these demanding circumstances, the team simultaneously facilitated transactions totaling over $3.5 million as part of the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

What sets this exceptional team apart is their efficiency, unwavering positivity, optimism, and willingness to assist. They remained upbeat and helpful, even in the face of prolonged difficulties. Undeniably, their exceptional work ethic and dedication deserve recognition and praise.

The Check-Fraud Response Team’s commitment to protecting the community from financial crimes has not gone unnoticed. The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners commended the team for their exceptional performance and presented them with the Team Excellence Award. This prestigious accolade serves as a testament to their outstanding achievements and contributions to safeguarding the financial interests of the county.

In a world where fraud and financial crimes pose significant threats, the Check-Fraud Response Team from the Department of Finance & Budget has proven invaluable to Calvert County. Their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts have made a remarkable impact, reinforcing their status as a true symbol of excellence and professionalism.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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