On September 18th, six people of Russian origin got caught in what appears to be a pretty large check scam. The press and Fresno PD can only speculate, whether or not, the people arrested were organized criminals. I'll let the reader come to their own conclusion.
Nonetheless, the story reflects what many consider a growing trend in criminal activity becoming more organized.
CBS 47 in Fresno is reporting:
Fresno Police said ten people were involved in this very complex case involving multiple schemes. In one of the scams they would allow someone else to write check on their account.The reason only six of the ten were arrested is that four of them fled the country.
They would then go back to the originating bank and claim someone had stolen their checks and was writing illegitimate checks. The bank would then refund their money and the suspects would essentially double their funds. They would even file police reports to make it look legitimate.
The case took Fresno Police more than a year to sort out. It appears the group was involved in hundreds of cons and scams.
CBS 47 story, here.
Organized criminal activity has become a huge problem in recent years. In California, where this occurred, the Attorney General issued a pretty extensive report detailing the problem, here.
The amount of known groups in the activity (not only Eastern Europeans) is getting out of control (my opinion).
I've also written a few things about organized crime, primarily from a financial crimes perspective, which anyone can read (if they're interested), here.