Four people have been charged in connection with a phony payroll check-cashing scheme that targeted stores in Johnstown, Upper Yoder Township and Somerset Township, authorities said.

The four are accused of cashing counterfeit payroll checks at three local Giant Eagle grocery stores: Goucher Street in Upper Yoder Township, Broad Street in Johnstown and Giant Eagle on North Center Avenue in Somerset Township.

Upper Yoder Township police charged three Johnstown residents with forgery and theft. 

They are Amanda Marie Blough, 39, of the 100 block of Dupont Street; Brion Raheem Cameron, 24, of the 700 block of Central Avenue; and Jeffrey Shawn McCray, 53, of the 300 block of Ebensburg Road.  

Also charged with forgery and theft was Tanessa Denise Oliver, 36, of Needmore, Fulton County. 

The four allegedly cashed at least seven phony computer-generated payroll checks totaling more than $6,700 from October to December 2019.

“The checks are very high-quality,” Upper Yoder Township police Chief Donald Hess said. 

The checks were printed with company names including County Homemakers Inc., Qualfon Data Services Group LLC, Gimel Construction Inc., Kaleidoscope Family Solutions Inc. and Subway.

Police are now trying to determine who masterminded the scam, according to Hess

Johnstown police and state police in Somerset also are investigating.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5061. Follow him on Twitter @PatBuchnowskiTD.

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