Fred Lawrence "Big Boy" Davis, 37, of 5654 Poe St. in Hope Mills, was charged with felony conspiracy and obtaining property by false pretense. He was being held Thursday night in the Cumberland County Detention Center.
Investigators said Davis is responsible for making and distributing counterfeit checks under the business account of the Waffle House. He is accused of enlisting homeless people to pick up and deliver the checks to unidentified accomplices in the ring, authorities said.
The checks are then cash by unsuspecting businesses that believe the checks are authentic, authorities said.
Davis is a registered sex offender who failed to register with authorities in Cumberland and Durham counties, where he claims to have residences, authorities said. He was convicted in 1990 of first-degree rape in Kings County, N.Y.
He also is a fugitive from the state of Arizona, where he is wanted in Phoenix on charges of trafficking and possession of marijuana. He will be extradited later to face those charges, authorities said.