She wrote a $40K check for a car; her bank account had $10

The Mukilteo woman, 46, was charged with first-degree theft.

EDMONDS — She wrote a $40,000 check for the Honda Pilot.

But her bank account fell short by $39,990.

Now the Mukilteo woman is charged with first-degree theft.

The woman, 46, took home the SUV from a car dealership in Edmonds in May 2018. The Honda dealer tried to deposit a five-figure company check from her business, Draco, Inc., but it bounced due to insufficient funds, according to the charges.

Police later found that the account had been opened with a $25 deposit, days before the car purchase. She’d made a few small transactions. She was down to exactly $10. For the bad check, U.S. Bank charged a $36 fee, putting the account in the red. A week later when the dealership tried again to have the check processed, the account was short by $40,026. Her $2,800 rent check bounced in late May. And so did a check in June with a memo saying, “Repayment for loan.”

All of this came to light after the Honda dealership’s manager called police on June 26, according to charging papers.

An Edmonds detective was granted access to the bank records for Draco, Inc. Since 2015, it has been registered with the Secretary of State as a property management, real estate or investment business. The woman had been the sole agent for three years. Over the summer, fees dropped the bank account so far into the negatives that it was effectively closed.

Police tracked down the woman on July 10 at a church where she volunteered.

She reportedly admitted to writing the bad check for the car, but claimed she’d been expecting a bank wire that would cover the difference. She reportedly said she had money to pay for the car now. Police read her rights to her and showed her the bank records. She replied that the money must be in her other account, and that she would provide paperwork as proof. She never did. In the meantime, her business license has expired and Draco, Inc., has dissolved, state records show.

Felony theft charges were filed in December.

The woman pleaded not guilty earlier this month. A Snohomish County Superior Court judge did not require her to post bond.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @snocaleb.

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