LOCAL WOMEN PLEAD GUILTY TO IDENTITY THEFT AND WIRE FRAUD CONSPIRACY
Spokane – Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Jacquelyn Ann Crawford, age 40, and Charlene M. Haggard, age 43, both of Spokane pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Sentencing is scheduled for February 17, 2011.
At their change of plea hearing today, the pair admitted that between February and April, 2010 they conspired to obtain bank account numbers, driver’s licenses and other personal identification information from various victims’ in the Spokane area. The pair used the stolen bank account and identification information, which they admitted were the proceeds of rural mail box thefts and vehicle burglaries, to manufacture and pass over 100 counterfeit checks to area businesses. The pair passed counterfeit checks at area businesses to obtain goods and services valued at over $40,000 in just a two-month period.
In addition to imprisonment, the plea agreement requires the Defendants to pay restitution to their victims and forfeit the proceeds of their crimes, including the property they obtained with the counterfeit checks and which the Spokane Financial Crimes Task Force recovered during the execution of search warrants at their Spokane residence on April 20, 2010.
A conviction for conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, up to 3 years of court supervision after release and restitution. Federal law requires that the Defendants be sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft charge in addition to and consecutive to the term of imprisonment imposed for the conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge.
The Postal Service reminds you to follow these steps to protect your mail from thieves and to help protect your identity:
- Use the letter slots at your post office to mail letters, or give them to a letter carrier.
- Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight.
- Don’t send cash in the mail.
- Ask your bank for “secure” checks that can’t be altered.
- Tell your post office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.
Report all mail theft to a Postal Inspector, go to www.postalinspectors.uspis.gov
This investigation was conducted by the Spokane Financial Crimes Task Force which consists of law enforcement agents with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Postal Inspection Service. This case is being prosecuted by K. Jill Bolton, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.