BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport police have charged twopeople with running a statewide check counterfeiting ring thatemployed a dozen people and defrauded a bank of nearly $50,000.

Twenty-five-year-old Jovan Watson and 20-year-old MichelleFreeman are each charged with racketeering and multiple counts oflarceny and forgery.

Police say that earlier this year representatives of TDBanknorth complained they had lost about $48,000 when counterfeitchecks were cashed at bank branches in Bridgeport, Fairfield,Meriden, Trumbull, Stratford, Waterbury, West Haven and Wolcott.

All the checks were drawn on an account of a Westport law firm.Once the fraud was discovered, police say the bank made good on thewithdrawals to the law firm.