Fraudulent check scheme sends Great Falls woman to prison for 26 months

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

GREAT FALLS — A Great Falls woman who admitted to a fraudulent check scheme in which she used fake identifications and stolen checks to buy merchandise in the community was sentenced today to 26 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Rachel Sheree Abbott, 34, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris also ordered $23,309 restitution.

In court documents, the government alleged that in 2019 and 2020, Abbott became involved in a fraudulent check scheme where she used fake identification cards, stolen checks and check printing software and materials to create new checks with valid account numbers.
Another individual would make for Abbott fake identification cards that contained a real identity with Abbott’s picture. Abbott also received stolen checks from others and would put this real identity on the stolen checks in conjunction with the real account number. Abbott then used the fake identification card and altered checks to spend approximately $25,000 at businesses in the Great Falls community.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica A. Betley and Jeffrey K. Starnes prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Great Falls Police Department.

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