Yesterday when I got into the office I had a message from our bank. No big deal I thought.... I called them and it turns out that we were given a "washed" cashiers check that had been returned. I had never heard of this before so I had to ask what "washing" was. Washing is the process criminals use to remove the printed information on checks and then re-write them to whatever $$$ amount they want and use them to buy things or cash at the bank. OK... it turns out that this cashiers check had been washed. The original cashiers check was for $19.00 when issued by the bank. When we got it the check was made payable to us and was for $19,000.00. The job that was done was a major renovation of a back yard. The guy said that he had dogs that had torn up the back yard. His ex-wife now had them and he wanted the backyard repairs. I gave him a quote and he signed the contract. 6 guys spent 3 days (53 labor hours) re-doing the backyard. All new plants, trees & shrubs with repairing a water feature. The house itself was a $700K house and he drove a new Jag. His suits, cloths and the inside of the house fit with the way he presented himself. Very professional. Even his bank gave him a good reference when I called. They since took it in the rear $225K on a bogus loan to him. So what happened you ask. This guy was using someone else's identity and was a renter. He has wall papered the town with bad checks, etc. Turns out that everyone from the Secret Service & FBI to the local cops are looking for him now. I was just told that I probably would not see any $$$... ever. I also can not go in and remove the plants, etc that we did because we did repair the damage he did but he did not own the property. They real owners will not let us in and said "we're sorry". In a nutshell he used us to repair the backyard for the rental house so he could get his $10,000 deposit back. He got that on Wednesday and the real estate company that rented the house to him got his NSF check back the next day. He paid them with a "International Bank Check" which takes 30 to 45 days to clear. So they got screwed too. It wasn't until we got our forged cashiers check back that all the law enforcement found out about each other looking for this guy too. It is frustrating when you try to do the right thing by people and then crap like this happens. Right before Christmas too. So I have vented. Time to move onto something more positive and productive today. Thanks for listening.