Ventura County sheriff’s detectives are urging possible victims, including local businesses to contact them regarding the “sophisticated con-man” who is in custody at Ventura County on suspicion of check fraud and identity theft.
Cedric Frierson, 42 was taken into custody July 18 by Ventura County and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies under suspicion that he posted bail using counterfeit cashier’s check for his initial arrest in June, according to Thousand Oaks police detective Timothy Lohman.
“His method of operation is that he will buy furniture, rent homes and vehicles with counterfeit cashier’s checks,” said Lohman. “The only immediate way of verifying the check is real is to contact the bank which its drawn on.”
Lohman added that because cashier’s checks are widely used for deposits and payments, businesses don’t think to verify its authenticity on the spot. Victims may not find out the check is fraudulent for three or four days until after the deposited check is processed, Lohman said.
Investigation of Frierson began in April when deputies responded to Thousand Oaks car dealership DCH Ford in response to report of forgery and unlawful taking of the vehicle. The sheriff’s department’s report alleges that Frierson provided three separate counterfeit checks for down payment and took possession of 2014 Toyota 4-Runner valued at $41,000.
Frierson tried to pass counterfeit cashier’s checks to two additional car dealerships in the Los Angeles County area, Lohman said. Frierson has been travelled around several states with multiple aliases, he added.
Frierson has developed a fraudulent real estate company, Valley Discount Properties, and website as part of his con, police claim.
Lohman added Frierson allegedly rented properties for himself under the fictitious company and provided counterfeit checks as deposits.
Frierson was initially arrested in June on charges related to the DCH Ford incident. Four days later, he posted bail allegedly with fraudulent checks. The bail bond company determined the check was a counterfeit, and Frierson has been re-arrested, according to the sheriff’s department.
Photo of Frierson is available on Ventura County Sherriff’s Office website. Anyone with more information on the case is urged to contact Detective Paul Ferruzza (805) 494-8231.