1 arrested, 2 sought for allegedly cashing fraudulent checks in Gallatin

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Gallatin Police Department (GPD) is on the lookout for two scam artists who allegedly cashed at least four fake checks at multiple Sumner County banks, stealing thousands of dollars.

The crime was uncovered at around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1.

That’s when an alert clerk at the Edmonton State Bank on West Broadway grew suspicious of two men trying to cash a large check were sketchy. The clerks called the bank and police responded.

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Before police arrived, one of the alleged bandits got away with a getaway driver who investigators said was the mastermind of the operation, but officers arrived in time to chase 45-year-old Jeramie Privette behind the bank and arrest him.

The arresting officer pulled his taser and cycled it, letting Privette know he might be tased. Privette surrendered without further incident, according to investigators.

Officer Austin Rosette was heard asking the suspect, “What are you running for, bro?”

Privette mumbled inaudibly to which the officer replied, “What do you mean you don’t know?”

According to investigators, Privette and his partner, 46-year-old Herman Brachey, were both in the bank and trying to cash fake checks using their real identifications.

Police said the men and another unknown suspect hit banks in Hendersonville, then a second bank in Gallatin on Browns Lane.

At these two banks, authorities said the two men cashed four fraudulent checks totaling in thousands of dollars.

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The checks were made out to the suspects and they were forged business checks that police said were stolen from legitimate businesses.

According to investigators, this caper began a week prior. That’s when the third man who police called the brains of the operation, convinced both Privette and Brachey to put their real names on business checks that were stolen and altered.

Police said the mastermind of the operation met the two homeless men at a McDonald’s in Nashville.

The suspects proposed a deal where the men give the mastermind their real identifications which the mastermind used to write the business checks, according to investigators.

In return, police said the men would get a percent of the profits.

“Yes, that’s part of the scam is they have to use individuals that have legitimate identification, and by that time, you’re looking for somebody that’s transient,” said Capt. Lamar Ballard with the GPD.

Ballard said the mastermind is doing this in multiple cities.

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“Oh, no doubt he’s doing it in multiple jurisdictions. He hit us and Hendersonville, and we obviously know just yesterday was multiple jurisdictions,” Ballard said.

Privette is charged with two counts of theft over $1,000 and two counts of criminal simulation.

According to detectives, Brachey is still at large, as is the alleged mastermind who was last seen driving away in a white Kia.

Anyone with information is asked to call the GPD at 615-452-1313.

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