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Ex-Computer Technician Held in Paycheck Forgery

A former Oxnard computer technician accused of manufacturing counterfeit city of Port Hueneme payroll checks is scheduled to be arraigned today on two counts of forgery, authorities said.

Terry Gene Gertz, 32, was arrested Saturday by Oxnard police after he attempted to pass a forged $500 payroll check made out to himself at an Oxnard Bank of America branch on Doris Avenue, said Port Hueneme Police Sgt. Jerry Beck.

Just three days earlier Bank of America had contacted the city’s payroll department to report another possible forged $500 check made out to Gertz, Beck said.

A search of Gertz’s home after his arrest turned up a sizable amount of computer hardware and software, including printers and scanners, Beck said. The investigation showed Gertz was printing and then forging checks, complete with the signatures of the mayor and finance director, he said.

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“We don’t know how he got hold of this stuff,” Beck said, adding that the checks varied only slightly in color from the real thing. “They just didn’t look right. But it was a good college try, so to speak.”

The investigation is continuing to determine whether anyone else is involved in the counterfeit operation and how long it has continued, Beck said.

The city did not lose any money as a result of the forgeries, he said.

Gertz was being held in Ventura County Jail, authorities said.

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