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Man Wanted for Buying New Vehicles with Bogus Business Checks
Posted on: 01/02/2013
By  Mike Cullums
 
A Charleston-area man who has been using fake checks to rip off car dealers in four states has struck in the Marietta area.
 
The Washington County sheriff’s office has requested warrants for 32-year-old Joseph C. Hajj, last known address in Nitro, W.Va., on felony counts of theft and passing bad checks. An employee of Family Ford on Pike Street reported that on December 19 Hajj paid for a new 2013 Ford truck with a fraudulent check for more than $52,000.
 
According to news reports from Gallipolis and Charleston, Hajj has been manufacturing checks on a computer and using them to buy big-ticket items including vehicles in Meigs and Gallia counties, as well as at least seven businesses in West Virginia, Kentucky and Georgia.
 
The checks appear to be from a contractor. Among the names used: BA Contracting, Johnson Construction and JJ Construction. At least one of the fake checks was made using a Peoples Bank logo.
 
According to the Pomeroy Daily Sentinel, Rajj recently ripped off a Beckley, W.Va., car dealership for a new Dodge Ram pickup. That truck was found last week, wrecked outside Gallipolis.
 
Before wrecking the Ram, Rajj bounced a $9,000 check for a new Kawasaki ATV in Gallipolis, where he was already under indictment for using a bogus check to purchase a new $52,000 truck from a Ford dealership there earlier this year.
 
Joey Hajj is described as 5-feet 7-inches tall, around 180 pounds, with hazel eyes, black hair and a goatee.
 
Authorities in Gallia and Meigs counties are urging business owners - especially car dealers - to use more caution when accepting checks written for large amounts.
 
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