Don't confuse criminal with civil remedies.
If you think that this person wrote these checks in a deliberate attempt to defraud you, you make a police report. The police investigate and forward the findings to the District Attorney. The DA's office makes the decision to prosecute. If DA decides that there is not enough evidence to bring charges that ends any possible criminal case.
You may, however, be able to sue the person in civil court. Just understand that your law suit will not result in that person being sent to jail or ordered to pay fines or restitution based upon criminal statutes. However, if the civil court rules that this person owes you 8K, you could take that judgment and attempt to levy assets that he has. This later statement assumes that he does not pay the judgment when presented to him. Many states also allow you to add post-judgment interest if the person subject to the judgment does not pay promptly.
Please note that a civil judgment can be discharged bankruptcy. When considering suing someone civilly you need to make some assessment of the probability of collection if you win.