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Man convicted of check forgery charged again

WORTHINGTON -- He was accused by his mother of stealing blank checks and forging her name back in 2004, and now his brother is alleging the same thing.

Brent Robert Stern, 41, of Round Lake, has been charged numerous times with check forgery. In 2008, he was convicted of the charge four times in three southwest Minnesota counties, a recently filed criminal complaint states.

In July 2009, the Nobles County Sheriff's Office was informed of a possible forged check in Dundee. The owner of the Dundee Steakhouse allegedly told a deputy he thought Stern had presented the check.

The check was a starter check and had the account number of his brother, but a Windom address, as well as the name, driver's license and social security number of his cousin, had been written in the upper left-hand corner. The signature was also purported to be that of Stern's cousin.

Brent Stern's brother allegedly told law enforcement that checks had been written on his closed account and the 8-check starter pack was missing from his home. He said his brother was probably the person who had written the checks.

Stern's cousin spoke with the deputy several months later and said his wallet had gone missing from his truck after he had given Stern a ride.

The Heron Lake Police Department also received information regarding a fraudulent check written on the same account and using the same handwritten name, ID numbers and signature.

Stern is charged with check forgery, offering a forged check, identity theft and theft by check. The alleged total of the checks was $200.

In 2004, Stern pleaded guilty to one count of check forgery and one count of felon in possession of a firearm In February 2004, his mother had reported checks stolen from her home. Stern allegedly wrote 12 checks with forged signatures to local business for a total of $3,581. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

According to MNCIS, the state court document filing Web site, Stern has in the past been charged with crimes such as burglary, attempted identity theft, assault, criminal damage to property, driving while impaired, property damage and a variety of theft, check forgery and theft by check counts.

Stern currently owes more than $5,000 in restitution and court fees.