^macro[html_start;Two Auburn sisters charged in identity theft;Two Auburn sisters charged in identity theft;Two, Auburn, sisters, charged, identity, theft, computer crime, cybercrime] ^macro[pagehead;img/library.gif] ^macro[leftcol] ^macro[centercol;


Two Auburn sisters charged in identity theft


Source: The Seattle Times Company
By Christine Clarridge
Date: July 08, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime Two sisters from Auburn who police said used their jobs as office janitors to rifle through desks and trash cans for employees' personal information were charged yesterday with 10 counts of identity theft.

Police said Sandy Kay Laukala, 37, and Jodie Lee Nelson, 41, could be tied to as many as 182 separate incidents of identity fraud.

Prosecutors said yesterday they may file more charges against the sisters.

Prosecutors said both women could face up to five years behind bars under standard state sentences^; adding additional counts wouldn't add to that.

Laukala and Nelson were held yesterday at the Regional Justice Center in Kent with bail set at $50,000.

Prosecutors allege the pair used the paperwork they found while cleaning a Tukwila business to open credit cards and access bank accounts, charging papers say.

Police searched the women's home in Auburn and found credit cards in other people's names along with employee rosters with names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers and wage information.

The two women then used the credit cards and other information to open e-mail accounts and to buy things over the Internet, prosecutors said.

They used the accounts to buy cellphones, gift cards, computer equipment, sporting goods, clothing and Godiva chocolates, according to court documents.

Police began investigating the sisters after a victim reported that a large order of pseudoephedrine an over-the-counter drug used to make methamphetamine had been ordered in his name.

He had learned of the order when the online pharmacy company called him, suspicious because of the size of the order, court papers say.

In addition to the identity-theft charges, Nelson was charged with one count of forgery, and Laukala was charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Original article: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/135197759_idtheft08m.html



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