Police Arrest Second Suspect in Check Scam

Police seized a $100,000 emerald Wednesday and arrested the alleged accomplice of a Canadian man they believe operated a bad-check scam in California and several other states.

James Vincent Amento, 25, of North Hollywood was being held in the North Hollywood jail on numerous charges in connection with the check-writing and theft scam, officials said.

Amento and James Compton Harvey, 58, of Canada were wanted by authorities in seven states for allegedly writing forged cashier’s checks to purchase up to $1.6 million in jewelry and coins during the past several years.

Harvey was arrested Saturday in Palm Springs. He is being held in the San Diego County Jail.


Los Angeles police searched Amento’s apartment Wednesday and seized an emerald valued at $100,000, as well as altered and blank cashier’s checks, other unused bank documents used to prepare cashier’s checks, $1,821 in cash, two handguns and a sawed-off shotgun, officials said.

Harvey and Amento are suspected of using forged cashier’s checks to purchase the light yellow emerald from its Arizona owner.

The two men had also been sought in connection with an armed robbery in Laguna Beach.