West Fargo man charged with writing $270,000 in bad checks
FARGO -- A West Fargo man is facing a Class A felony theft of property charge for allegedly writing about $270,000 in worthless checks at area businesses.
Jason D. Anderson, 44, was arrested Wednesday, April 18, at a Gate City Bank in West Fargo after the bank called police to report a suspected fraudulent check was being deposited.
An investigation revealed Anderson had used bad checks in a number of ways, causing a total of about $270,000 in losses for area businesses, including banks, according to court documents.
Court documents say Anderson used an account belonging to a company called TEMS Foundation LLC as part of the illegal check writing.
During an interview with the West Fargo Pioneer earlier this month, Anderson said TEMS is meant to be a support system for when mentally ill people commit crimes. Anderson believed they should be put in a different environment while still getting punished for their crimes instead of “flooding” county jails.
In the interview, for a story that wasn’t published, Anderson said he was diagnosed as Type 1 Bipolar Mixed Episode in 2001. Anderson said he started taking medication but was using alcohol and he began suffering from hallucinations and thoughts of grandeur, like thinking he could start and sell a company within a week. Anderson admitted in the interview to writing bad checks and being arrested for five or six DUIs. He said he spent a collective eight months in prison.
Court records show he has multiple convictions for passing bad checks, including two other pending felony cases from earlier this year in Cass County and Stutsman County.
Anderson said in 2015, he had a severe manic episode provoked when he was kept from seeing his son, leading to an 8-mile police chase which ended with him being shot twice with a stun gun.
“I flipped out,” Anderson told the Pioneer.
It was while in treatment after that, that Anderson worked on a business plan to start the TEMS Project, which stands for trust, educate, medicate and survive.
According to a police report filed Thursday with the new theft charge, Anderson wrote a bad check for $29,192 to buy a 2014 Dodge Challenger from a Bismarck dealership, court documents say.
Also, court documents say Anderson used a bad bad check to purchase a Corvette from a Fargo dealership for $48,589.
West Fargo police say those vehicles have been recovered, reducing somewhat the potential losses.
A phone message left for Anderson Thursday wasn't immediately returned.