Columbia, SC – The Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Worthless Check Unit was established “for the purpose of processing worthless checks and to assist the victims of these cases in the collection of restitution.” Twenty months ago, Richland County Treasurer, David A. Adams, asked Solicitor Dan Johnson for his help in the collection of bad checks that were being written to pay tax bills. The Treasurer’s Office receives approximately eighty (80) checks every month that are returned for insufficient funds. To date, the Solicitor’s Office Worthless Check Unit has helped collect restitution for three hundred eight (308) bounced checks totaling $102,888.72. Previously, collection of such a large amount would have taken a number of years.
“Before, we could only catch people who bounced checks the next time they tried to pay taxes – meaning it could take a year or more for the county to recoup lost funds,” Treasurer Adams said. “With the Solicitor’s Worthless Check Program, our office works with their enforcement unit to aggressively find tax cheaters, and get their payment in 90 days or less.”
The Solicitor’s Worthless Check Unit collects the amount of the bad checks, plus fees and distributes restitution to the victims. This program transfers the collection process from the victim to the Solicitor’s Office, eliminating the victim’s work and costs associated with collection from the check writer. In the event check writers do not immediately make restitution on bad checks, the Solicitor’s Worthless Check Unit has the power to initiate arrest warrants and criminally prosecute those persons. Participation in this program is FREE to victims who received the bad check.
“We are still getting dozens of bounced checks per month,” Adams concluded. “But with the Solicitor’s help, people aren’t getting away with bad checks anymore. It means that our good taxpayers – who play by the rules and pay their fair share – aren’t penalized by those who try to cheat the rest of us.”
For more information on the Solicitor’s Office Worthless Check program, please call 803.576.1860 or David A. Adams, Richland County Treasurer's Office at 803.576.2275.