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Man Allegedly Tries to Cash Dead Brother's Unemployment Check

A man was arretsed after trying to cash his dead brother's unemployment check at a local bank last weekend.

When Michael H. April Jr. pulled up to the drive-up window at People's United Bank on Federal Street on Saturday, something didn't seem right to the teller.

The man at the window was there trying to cash an unemployment check. But the account had a hold on it.

The teller got the attention of the branch manager, who then called police.

April, 33, was allegedly trying to cash a $311 unemployment check made out to his brother Justin, who died last month. Michael April had wanted to deposit $50 and then withdraw the remaining $261.

Michael April told police he was trying to take care of his brother's funeral expenses but he was not authorized to do so and did not have power-of-attorney or other permissions to use the accounts. A bank investigator plans to provide police with surveillance photos from previous incidents when Michael April withdrew money from his brother;s account  on Jan. 20 and Feb. 11 using withdrawl slips allegedly soigned by his brother.

Eventually, April was arrested and charged with uttering a false check, forgery of a document, identity fraud, attempt to commit a crime and larceny under $250 by false pretences.

He was released on his own recognizance by Judge Michael Lauranzano and is scheduled to return to Salem District Court on April 2. He was ordered to stay away from People's United Bank.

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