Head of counterfeiting ring caught after escape

G. Sam Piatt, PDT Staff Writer

September 3, 2012

PDT Staff Report

The head of a counterfeiting ring in eastern Kentucky is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 10, a month after being arrested following an escape from federal custody.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins will conduct the hearing for 52-year-old Harold James in federal court in Ashland, Ky.

James admitted passing 108 phony checks to retailers, and that he manufactured more than 500 checks. He was serving 41 months in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States. He escaped from a drug treatment center in Ashland, on May 10, and U.S. Marshals caught him in Atlanta on Aug. 13.

Eight other people were also convicted in the scheme, which prosecutors say affected businesses in Boyd and Carter counties in Kentucky, and in Lawrence County, Ohio, costing them roughly $65,000.