(Stillwater) — An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for a Cushing man who is accused of passing five forged checks on his grandmother’s account for a total of $3,388.50 in cash within two months’ time.
    If convicted of five counts of second-degree forgery, Brian A. Faires, 22, could be given as much as 35 years in prison, according to the charges filed Monday by Payne County Assistant District Attorney Kathy Thomas.
    Four months ago, Faires was placed on four years’ probation after pleading guilty to three separate charges:
    * obtaining the drug hydrocodone by fraud at Baker Pharmacy in Cushing on Oct. 9, 2008;
    * resisting Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Anthony Harper on April 3, 2008 — additional counts of escape from arrest and possession of the drug Lortab were dropped in a plea bargain;
    * false declaration of ownership of a rifle to Mo Money Pawn in Cushing on March 5, 2008 — another count of second-degree burglary was dropped in a plea bargain.
    In the current case, Cushing Police Officer Jerrod Livergood wrote in an affidavit that he was sent on June 3 to Spirit Bank regarding fraudulent checks written on the account of Faires’ grandmother, Kay Sikes.
    The alleged forgery, which Brian Faires later denied to police, was reported by his mother, Patricia Faires, who is also listed on the account, the affidavit said.
    “Patricia said that her son Brian Faires had taken a checkbook that belongs to Kay Sikes and forged six checks.
    “Patricia said that Brian forged three checks to himself, and three checks to Thomas Mays. Patricia told me that she thinks Thomas Mays was unaware that the checks were not authorized by Patricia and Kay,” the affidavit said.
    When Brian Faires’ grandmother was interviewed, she told the officer that he had taken her checkbook out of her car in Cushing, the affidavit alleged. She said she was not sure how long the checkbook had been missing, the affidavit said.
    Three forged checks, one for $1,000 on May 15, one for $1,000 on May 12, and one for $1,050 on May 15, were written to Thomas Mays and cashed by him at the Spirit Bank, with the first two taken to the Cushing branch and the last one taken to the Stillwater branch, the affidavit alleged.
    When Mays was interviewed by the Cushing officer, he said that “Brian Faires asked him to cash a check for him on three separate occasions. Thomas said that Brian told him that he would give him $10 for cashing each of the three checks,” the affidavit alleged.
    “I asked Thomas if he thought that was a little odd that Brian would have him cash checks for him, and Thomas replied, ‘I thought Brian asked me to cash them because I have an account at the Spirit Bank.’
    “Thomas said that he didn’t know that Brian was not supposed to write the checks. Thomas said that Brian told him that it was his payroll checks from Pat and Kay and he didn’t know that he was doing anything wrong,” the affidavit alleged.
    Two other forged checks, one for $348.50 on March 30, and one for $300 on March 21, were written to Brian Faires and cashed by him at Escott’s Foods, the affidavit alleged. Escott’s Office Manager Amy Oneal provided Cushing police with pictures showing an employee cashing the checks for Brian Faires, the affidavit alleged.
    Brian Faires provided a written statement to Cushing police on June 15 that “he thinks Thomas Mays took the checkbook out of his truck when he gave Thomas a ride to the store.
    “Brian also claims that the checks were left in his truck by his grandmother, Kay Sikes, when she borrowed the truck. Brian included in his statement that he didn’t write the checks,” the affidavit said.  
    Spirit Bank of Cushing employee Mandi Alexander told the Cushing officer said that on April 30, Brian Faires was in the drive-through trying to cash a check for $500 that was written to his brother, Rusty Faires, from Patricia Faires, the affidavit alleged.
    “Mandi recognized that Rusty was not in the truck with Brian, and she advised the teller not to pay the check,” the affidavit said.
    When she told Brian Faires to call his mother to verify the check was okay to cash, “he abandoned the check and left the Spirit Bank drive-through,” the affidavit alleged.
    Thomas Lee Mays, 22, of Jennings, who previously lived in Cushing, has not been charged in connection with the alleged forgeries.
    However, Mays appeared in court last week on charges of possessing methamphetamine in Cushing on Dec. 18, 2008, and driving without a license, court records show.
    Mays was ordered by District Judge Donald Worthington to return to court on Friday. He remains free on $5,000 bail.

***