A federal judge has sentenced a 53-year-old woman for her role in a fraudulent check cashing scheme that defrauded banks in West Hollywood and other cities in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The defendant, Connie Skipper, of Los Angeles, was sentenced on Jan. 5 to time served and three years probation after being convicted on Oct. 9. The crimes occurred between 2007 and 2009, and she previously served 38 months in prison for similar state charges and was released in 2012. The judge accepted a plea agreement Skipper made with federal authorities in which she plead guilty to an indictment alleging conspiracy, and also agreed to pay approximately $36,000 in restitution. A co-defendant in the case, identified as Thomas Salyers, 55, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is schedule to be sentenced on Feb. 2.
Skipper and Salyers allegedly stole checks and personal information from mailboxes, and then attempted to cash the checks at bank branches. The suspects presented driver’s licenses in the names of the victims. One of the crimes was committed at a Wells Fargo branch in West Hollywood, while others occurred at bank branches in Pacific Palisades, Calabasas, Aliso Viejo, Tarzana, Encino and Monrovia.
Additionally, the pair was accused of stealing information from mailboxes, homes and vehicles. When authorities searched Skipper’s residence, they found two U.S. passports, three social security cards and a driver’s license in other peoples’ names. Authorities alleged that Skipper and Salyers altered the stolen checks, and that Skipper attempted to cash them at the banks.