Police: Youngstown bad check ‘artist’ a problem for many years

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Police say they’ve known about Ronald Scurti, 51, for close to twenty years — some referring to him as a bad check “artist.”

“He has a long history of passing bad checks, theft, fraud,” Boardman Police Detective Glenn Riddle said.

Scurti was arrested by US Marshals in Austintown on Tuesday. He was arraigned in Boardman court Thursday night and is in jail being held without bond.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges after Boardman Police issued warrants for him, saying he tried to pass a number of bad checks at the Boardman Walmart in mid-November. Detectives tried to arrest him that day, but he raced through the parking lot to get away.

“He actually drove all the way over towards Lowe’s, went around the parking lot and then came back in front of Walmart where the people use the cross walk,” Riddle said. “He almost ran a couple people over.”

Earlier this week, Canfield Police pulled Scurti over for a traffic stop, only to have him race away from them.

“They told me 104 miles an hour,” Riddle said.

Police say Scurti is essentially homeless and supports himself with money he gets for selling goods purchased with bad checks.

He’s also wanted in western Pennsylvania for stealing that way from jewelry stores and then pawning the merchandise — which investigators believe is why he so desperately wanted to avoid getting caught.

“He had warrants for places in Pennsylvania,” Riddle said. “And just the Boardman incident alone, he had 17 charges.”

For the Boardman Walmart incident, Scurti is charged with fleeing and eluding, eight counts of passing bad checks and eight counts of criminal simulation warrant.

He is due back in court next week.