New Castle News

Police Reports

April 10, 2012

Local attorney wanted on forgery charges

NEW CASTLE — An Ellwood City attorney is wanted by the police for allegedly defrauding a bank.

District Judge Jerry Cartwright has issued a warrant for the arrest of 34-year-old Mike Frisk of 608 Orchard Ave.

Frisk is facing multiple forgery-related charges, filed by Ellwood City police March 30. He faces seven counts each of forgery, forgery as an unauthorized act in writing, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

And local officials said Frisk also is facing civil matters involving finances and fraud.

According to court documents, Frisk received $1,540 for seven checks he had written between March 10 and 12 to a man who has an account at Huntington Bank.

The person whose name was on the account attended a meeting with bank officials and said he had cashed checks that Frisk had given him.

Frisk told the account-holder that his grandfather had given him the checks and that he needed the man’s help in getting the money, according to court documents.

 Frisk agreed he would pay the man a fee for depositing the checks into his account if he would provide Frisk with immediate money, the man told the bank investigator. He said Frisk had forged the checks in front of him.

The account-holder withdrew money on each occasion when the checks were deposited, investigators allege.

Police said the account-holder and Frisk were filmed on security tape together in a vehicle at the ATM machine at the bank, for all of the withdrawal and deposit transactions. Frisk would authorize the checks and hand them to the account holder, who said that Frisk would pay him for helping him withdraw the funds. The account-holder told police he was paid $20 per withdrawal of $200 and $30 to $40 for withdrawals of $300.

Police said the checks were drawn on the checking account of a man from Yorktown, Va., through First National Bank.

The man previously had reported to Ellwood City police that Frisk had stolen his checkbook from the passenger compartment of his vehicle Feb. 24, when Frisk had been in his car, according to an official documents.

At that time, Frisk allegedly cashed other checks for $200 and $300 from the man’s checkbook, and the police advised Frisk to pay the man $300 or he would be charged with forgery.

The man told police on March 13 that Frisk had paid him the $300.

District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa said he recently signed off on another criminal investigation involving Frisk, and that more charges are pending against Frisk by Ellwood City police.

Meanwhile, according to Lamancusa, Frisk still maintains his status as an attorney.

“As far as I’m aware, the disciplinary board has been notified, but no official action has been taken to date.”

Frisk remains a member of the Lawrence County Bar Association.

Attempts Monday to reach William Friedman of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board regarding Frisk’s status an attorney were unsuccessful.

Lt. David Kingston of the Ellwood City police said Monday police have not charged the man who allegedly assisted Frisk in getting the money from the bank.

(Email: dmorris@ncnewsonline.com)

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