Bad Check / Delinquent Tax Unit
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney is responsible for enforcing the bad check laws of the State through the vigorous prosecution of bad check writers. Our goals are to reduce the number of bad check writers who victimize merchants and individuals in Jefferson County and to recover restitution for those who have been victimized. To effectively prosecute bad check offenders and recover restitution, the assistance of each bad check recipient in the County is requested.
Bad Check Policy
Before you submit a bad check to this office for prosecution please read the following policy:
- When a check has been returned to you from the bank for insufficient funds, account closed or stop-payment try to collect the check by sending written notice (preferably by certified or registered mail) that the check did not clear and demanding payment.
- If you have not received payment within 30 days, bring or send by mail the original check, a copy of any letters demanding payment and a completed Bad Check Complaint Form (PDF).
- This office will send a 10-day letter demanding payment. Do not accept payment (either full or partial) after the check has been sent to our office. By doing so, you may compromise criminal prosecution of the check writer if charges have been filed.
- If this office does not receive payment, we will then review the Bad Check Complaint to determine if criminal charges can be brought. You may be required to appear in court and testify, if necessary.
Some Do’s & Don’ts
- Identify the check writer by a photograph I.D, preferably Missouri driver’s license. Ensure that the photo matches the check writer.
- Take as much information about the individual passing the check as possible, particularly:
- Current address and phone number
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Any other identifying information:
- Hair and eye color
- Make sure the check is filled out in your presence.
- Do not accept postdated checks.
- Do not accept two-party checks (where the check is made payable to someone other than the person or business accepting the check, such as payroll checks).
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, pursuant to Missouri Statutes, also represents the Missouri Department of Revenue in civil actions to collect delinquent individual income, sales and withholding taxes. After the Department of Revenue has attempted to collect the tax without success, a petition is forwarded to this office. This petition is a civil suit, not a criminal prosecution, to recover the tax owed to the State of Missouri.
Prior to filing the petition, this office attempts to make contact with the taxpayer in order to resolve the matter without actually filing the lawsuit. In order to ensure that the taxpayer is required to pay only the actual tax amount owed, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney acts as a liaison between the taxpayer and the Department of Revenue, forwarding to the Department of Revenue any documents which may result in a modification or sometimes complete abatement of the certified tax amount. Payment arrangements may be made with this office before any suit is filed.
If the delinquent tax bill is not paid, and no arrangements are made to establish a payment plan, the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney files a civil suit on behalf of the Missouri Department of Revenue. A payment plan is still possible at this point, pursuant to the taxpayer signing a consent judgment. Monthly payments may then be made to the Department of Revenue through the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. If no payment agreement is reached with the taxpayer, this office will proceed with the civil suit to judgment and take whatever actions are necessary to enforce that judgment, including garnishment and/or seizure of assets.