A local paralegal is accused in court papers of forging her boss's signature on 121 checks, resulting in an alleged theft of over $142,000.
Jennifer Marie Ottosen, 38, of Riverdale Drive in Olympia, is charged in Thurston County Superior Court with 118 counts of forgery and one count of first-degree identity theft, court papers state. Her arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, in Thurston County Superior Court.
The investigation into Ottosen's alleged theft began in early January, when local attorney Ralph Smith reported to Tumwater police that a Ottosen had been forging his name on checks, according to court papers. "Ralph said he has never given permission to Jennifer or anyone else to forge his name on checks," court papers state.
Also according to court papers:
Smith said Ottosen had worked for him for over 12 years, as a legal assistant, and for the past two years, as his bookkeeper. Smith said when he confronted her, she admitted to forging his signature, but would not give the amount she has stolen. Further investigation by police revealed Ottosen has forged 121 checks, and the total loss is about $142,962.
Ottosen's attorney, Tye Menser, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Court records indicate Ottosen has found part-time work at a local law firm since the allegations against her came to light. Court records also indicate she is being treated for addiction and mental health issues. The attorneys at Ottosen's new law firm could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 firstname.lastname@example.org