News Column

Woman pleads guilty to forgery, credit card fraud

August 13, 2014

By James Chilton, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Cheyenne



Aug. 13--CHEYENNE -- A local woman has pleaded guilty to seven counts of forgery after stealing another woman's credit cards and checkbook and using them to make unauthorized purchases.

Tisha Reese, 32, told Laramie County District Court Judge Steven Sharpe that she had stolen credit cards and a checkbook belonging to Emily Hebert, a speech pathologist at Saddle Ridge Elementary.

The theft occurred while Hebert was attending a fitness class at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Health and Fitness last Dec. 3.

"I took (them) from the locker room of the gym at CRMC," Reese said in court on Monday. "I just bought some stuff."

According to court documents, Reese used the credit cards and checks to buy massages, eyelash extensions, a manicure and pedicure, spa gift cards, an iPhone 5 and a case of Bud Light beer.

In all, the total was nearly $2,100.

Reese made her purchases between Dec. 4 and Jan. 24.

Cheyenne Police Detective John Gay contacted Reese twice in late January, at which time she reportedly admitted to entering several lockers at CRMC Health and Fitness and taking $40 cash as well as checks and credit cards.

She further admitted the bulk of the illegal purchases she made, though she originally denied that the iPhone she owned was the same one she bought using Hebert's credit card. She said she already had resold the latter phone online.

Gay was able to look up the phone's serial number and confirmed the illegally purchased phone was the one in Reese's possession. She later admitted to lying about the phone, adding that she no longer had it since she "lost it and could not find it."

Reese initially faced 15 counts of forgery, each carrying a possible maximum sentence of 10 years and a $10,000 fine. But prosecutors agreed to drop eight of the 15 charges in exchange for guilty pleas on the rest.

Reese also pleaded guilty to another, separate charge of credit card fraud on Monday.

She said she had stolen a credit card belonging to another Health and Fitness patron and used it to buy clothing, lingerie and contact lenses on Dec. 9.

Reese told Sharpe that her glasses were broken at the time and she had just gotten a new job and needed new work clothes.

Prosecutors are recommending a prison term of four to eight years for each guilty plea, all to be served concurrently, or at the same time.

Her sentencing will be set once a pre-sentencing investigation has been done, a process that usually takes two months.

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(c)2014 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.)

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Source: Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY)


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