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Bad Check Unit Closing

Since 1993 the Butte County District Attorney's Bad Check Unit has recovered and returned to local merchants over $4.6 million in bad check losses. The accompanying fees, paid by the bad check writers, covered the cost of the unit, ensuring this program continued at no cost to Butte County tax payers. It was, by any measurement, a successful service provided to local businesses. However, over the past several years the unit's ability to support itself has diminished far below its operating cost. With the advent of immediate electronic funds transfer, increased acceptance of credit/debit cards and private check guarantee services, the number of checks received by the bad check unit has declined considerably. At its height, the Bad Check Unit received on average more than 500 new checks per month. We now receive approximately 75 checks per month. The decline of checks directly affects fees which offset the cost of the unit. Regrettably, the Butte County District Attorney's Bad Check Unit will stop accepting new checks April 30, 2015. The unit will continue to operate with its current staffing until June 30, 2015. At that point, the Butte County District Attorney's Financial Crimes Division will manage the remaining collection and payment process on the few remaining open cases. In the meantime, all merchants should evaluate their individual policies on check acceptance. Options include referring bad check writers to private collection services, calling local law enforcement on checks over $950.00 or to discontinue accepting checks as a form of payment. It is with great reluctance and sadness that I take this action, but the financial realities of a more modern banking system and a lack of prosecutorial resources forces this move. Thank you for your understanding. Please pass this information onto your membership. Very truly yours, Michael L. Ramsey District Attorney



For More Information Call: (530) 538-7089 or write:   


Butte County District Attorney
Bad Check Unit
3-B County Center Drive
Oroville, CA 95965







Michael L. Ramsey
District Attorney




The true costs of crime are often hidden. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the problem of bad checks. Bad Checks cost everyone money. Businesses in Butte County lose hundreds of thousands of dollars each year as a result of these bad checks. When businesses are forced to raise prices to cover such losses, we, the consumers, bear the cost of this criminal activity. In an effort to stop the bad check writer, return money to the victim and, whenever possible, rehabilitate the offender, my office has developed the Bad Check Restitution/Prosecution Unit. This Unit, staffed by attorneys, investigators and clerical support, vigorously pursues restitution owed to victims of bad checks and offers the bad check writer an alternative to prosecution. Those who do not, or will not, respond to incentives provided by the program and who have violated the bad check laws will be prosecuted.






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