OLYMPIA - A judge has sentenced a woman to five months of home detention after she pleaded guilty to stealing Thurston County Assessor Patricia Costello's identity and forging $1,700 in stolen checks in her name.
Kendra Marie Tate, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree identity theft. On Wednesday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor sentenced Tate to five months of home detention.
Costello could not be reached for comment Friday.
According to court records:
Costello called the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office in February, after her bank notified her that her account had been overdrawn. Costello suspected that someone had forged checks in her name.
Thurston County sheriff’s detective Steve Hamilton obtained copies of three checks that had been written in Costello’s name and determined that they were counterfeit copies of Costello’s checks. The forger had used Costello’s account number to create checks in the names of Kendra Tate and Larry Tate.
One of the checks had been cashed Jan. 21 at a Moneytree branch in Lakewood. An employee there described to Hamilton the person who had cashed the check.
Another check was made out to the Emerald Queen Casino in Fife. Staff members at Emerald Queen require people passing checks there to provide a fingerprint. A driver’s license also was provided ; it belonged to Kendra Tate.
The third check was made out to a Money Mart branch in Seattle. Hamilton obtained a fingerprint from the check. After Hamilton got a copy of Kendra Tate’s driver’s license from the state, he compared her signature to the signatures on the fraudulent checks and determined Tate had endorsed the fraudulent ones.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 firstname.lastname@example.org