COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho -- A woman was sentenced last week to serve four years in prison for an identity theft and bank fraud scheme that netted $37,790 from area banks and credit unions.

Michelle Mason, 27, directed her co-conspirators to open accounts in order to obtain cash from Spokane Teachers CU, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, and J.P. Morgan Chase using identities stolen from the mail. Mason took over accounts her co-conspirators opened and deposited counterfeit, altered and/or forged checks that were stolen from the mail into the compromised accounts and to withdraw cash from ATMs. She also used checks and ATM cards from the compromised accounts to purchase merchandise and pay bills.

An accomplice, Charles Baker, a 32-year-old from Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to pay $22,626.


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