A man and his parents are charged in Franklin County, Tenn., with writing about $25,000 worth of bad checks to Kroger, authorities said.
Records show Donald Patrick Henley Jr., 34; Donald Patrick Henley, 58; and Henley Sr.'s wife, Brenda Sue, 59, were arrested on warrants Friday, but it's Henley Jr. who has the lion's share of counts with 85. Henley Sr. is charged with five counts and Brenda Henley with two, records show.
Cashing the checks at the Kroger in Decherd, Tenn., the family was spending the money on gasoline for a mowing business, Franklin County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Guess said.
The sheriff's office served the warrants, which were issued by the local magistrate on information filed by Kroger officials, Guess said. There is no investigating agency, he said.
Kroger officials declined comment, but the Henleys' attorney, Bob Peters, said the case is more appropriate for civil court than criminal.
"There was a course of conduct where they were doing business with Kroger and bought gas from Kroger," Peters said Monday. "It looked like they were getting gas on credit. It seems to be a commercial dispute."
The Henleys "are hard-working folks, and I assume they probably thought they were not doing wrong," Peters said.
Guess called the case "odd" because of the number of checks written and the amount of money involved. Most bad-check cases involve amounts ranging from $5 to as much as $1,000, he said, "but we don't usually get $25,000."
"It was my understanding they wrote them on a closed account," Guess said. "They were writing somewhere in the neighborhood of three or four a day."
All three are free on bond with court appearances set for Feb. 23 in Franklin County General Sessions Court, according to officials.
Contact staff writer Ben Benton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6569.