Bradford R. Fenocchio
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: July 14, 2010
Public Information Officer
Assistant District Attorney
MEMBERS OF COUNTERFEITING RING
RECEIVE PRISON, JAIL SENTENCES
Seven members of a crime ring have been sentenced to state and county lockup facilities for a scheme in which they stole checks out of rural mailboxes in Placer County and then used the account and routing numbers to create counterfeit checks.
Prosecutor Dan Quick of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office said thousands of dollars were lost by banks and individuals in the fraudulent activities, which law enforcement officers say occurred between February and October of 2009.
“We are aware of more than a dozen victims whose account information was used and of probably another dozen stores and banks that were victimized when fraudulent checks were passed,” Quick said.
On Monday, five defendants were sentenced in Placer County Superior Court. Two other defendants, including Jayson Paul Krack, the central figure in the group, were sentenced in the spring.
Krack, 30, a Citrus Heights resident, received the longest sentence – seven years in state prison – after pleading no contest on May 10 to felony charges of conspiracy, forgery, identity theft and burglary.
Thomas Alan Woodhouse, 24, of Auburn received six years in the California Rehabilitation Center, a prison facility for substance abusers. He pleaded no contest in April to conspiracy and identity theft, as well as to unrelated charges of burglary and illegally taking a vehicle.
On Monday, James Michael Marich, 46, of Auburn, received one year and four months in state prison after pleading out to charges of conspiracy, identity theft and burglary.
The others, all Auburn residents and all of whom played smaller roles in the crime operation, were sent to the Placer County jail after plea agreements.
They included Rachael Duran, 30, six months for conspiracy, forgery and burglary; Andrew Clifford, 24, three months for conspiracy and identity theft; Jason Lacy, 22, two months for conspiracy and burglary, and Bonnie Tremlin, 29, 45 days for identity theft.
Quick said one other defendant is awaiting sentencing while two other suspected members of the ring are being sought by authorities.
Law enforcement officers became aware of the counterfeiters when one of the defendants was caught after trying to pass a phony check at a business. In the suspect’s vehicle, authorities found fraudulent checks that led to a roundup of other members of the operation.
Among agencies participating in the investigation were the Auburn Police Department, the Placer County Sheriff’s Department and the Lincoln Police Department.
Quick urged citizens to exercise caution when putting up the red flag on their mailboxes.
“You may be telling thieves you’re sending out a check that day,” Quick said. “I’d encourage people to drop their letters in a mailbox at a post office.”