Defendant charged with forging additional checks
A 39-year-old Greencastle woman, already accused of writing nearly $6,000 in bogus checks from her former employer's account, is now facing nine additional counts of forgery in another case.
Bambi Bicknell, who already faces an Aug. 9 appearance in Putnam Circuit Court, has been charged in connection with the theft of checks from Vernon Hendrickson, Greencastle, whose address is listed as identical to hers in court documents.
The nine new forgery charges against Bicknell involve checks she allegedly wrote on Hendrickson's account to eight local businesses -- Pizza King, Country Folks Greenhouse, Tom's Market, Craft Makers Two, Silverwood Signs, Marvin's, the Fairway Restaurant and the Clark gas station.
Bicknell, a former employee of Mama Nunz, is also facing theft and forgery charges for allegedly stealing checks from that business and forging the name of owner Jo Ruth Cancilla in order to cash them at various check-cashing locations.
According to a Greencastle Police Department report, those incidents occurred between April 11 and May 30 this year.
Bicknell allegedly wrote at least 22 checks on Cancilla's account, totaling $5,816.55 over that period.
She appeared in court on June 21 in that case, and on July 10, an arrest warrant and bench warrant were issued for Bicknell relative to the Hendrickson charges.
During a recent initial hearing in Putnam Circuit Court, Bicknell entered a not-guilty plea and had public defender Sid Tongret appointed to represent her, exactly the outcome of a previous hearing on the alleged Mama Nunz check thefts and forgeries.
The Putnam County Prosecutor's Office had sought the customary $20,000 bond (with 10 percent allowed) in the latest case. However, Judge Matt Headley granted a defense request for Bicknell to be released on home detention through the Community Corrections program upon pre-payment of all fees.
Bicknell's alleged criminal activity initially came to light when Nunzio Cancilla, the son of Jo Ruth Cancilla and owner of the Mama Nunz restaurant at 800 S. Main St., Greencastle, flagged down GPD Officer Eric Vaughan at about 8 p.m. May 30.
Cancilla showed Vaughan checks with his mother's real signature and the apparently forged signature, telling the officer he believed one of his employees had been cashing fraudulent checks.
Charges of theft and forgery were then filed against Bicknell on June 18 in Putnam Circuit Court.