July 31, 2008

BRIEF: Prison for Woman Who Forged DA’s Name As Part ID Theft Ring

By Pamela Manson, The Salt Lake Tribune

Jul. 31--A Utah woman who admitted forging checks using business names she picked from the phone book has been sentenced to 70 months in a federal prison for bank fraud and identity theft.

Justine Coppolino, 39, who was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson, also had admitted cashing fraudulent personal checks. Authorities said one of these checks bore the forged signature of Howard Lemcke, a Salt Lake County deputy district attorney.

Coppolino and seven others were accused last year in a federal indictment of creating at least 83 counterfeit checks -- using computer software -- that were cashed at Salt Lake City area businesses. Charges were dismissed against one, while the other defendants pleaded guilty and received prison terms ranging up to 36 months.


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