Fake-ID factory found in motel room booked with a stolen ID

Police arrested a woman and an alleged accomplice after seizing stolen documents and computer hardware.

EVERETT — A woman has been charged with multiple counts of fraud after allegedly turning an Everett motel room into a production line for creating phony bank cards, driver’s licenses and Social Security cards.

The Marysville woman, 32, allegedly used another woman’s driver’s license to book the room in January. The defendant also put the victim’s name on a bank card and, in chat conversations, reminded others to refer to her by the victim’s name.

She reportedly continued to use her assumed identity when police showed up to her motel room. It wasn’t until later that she gave them her real name.

Charging papers list more than a half-dozen potential victims.

The suspect appeared in court Oct. 1. She’s charged with identity theft, forgery and possession of stolen property.

Hotel staff first notified police when they saw items in the room that could be used for financial fraud, including a bag with 50-plus credit cards.

A police search revealed more, including checks, bank statements belonging to other people, stolen mail, a laminator, a printer, nail polish remover (which can be used to alter checks) and spiral notebooks that listed personal information for various people.

The woman was with a man who is listed as a co-defendant in charging papers. She was carrying several thumb drives, which she said she was holding onto for someone else. Police reported she was found in possession of 5.91 grams of methamphetamine.

The co-defendant reportedly was in possession of a pink backpack that contained a metal box with more than $10,000 inside.

On the woman’s computers and phones, investigators allegedly found extensive internet history suggesting financial fraud. In chat conversations, she told other people that she was making identification cards and that she knew of good websites to find Social Security numbers, according to prosecutors.

Among the documents on her computer was a how-to guide to making fake identification cards. She had apparently been in the process of creating a number of driver’s licenses, which were in “various stages of completion,” court papers say.

The defendant appeared ready to ramp up the operation. She had numerous photos of credit cards, checks and blank Social Security cards, as well as the Washington state seal and enlarged endorsing signatures.

Upon questioning, the woman reportedly said she was good with computers and computer graphics.

The woman said someone else paid for the room. However, camera footage allegedly revealed the woman was the only one checking in to the motel.

An arraignment is scheduled for Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court. The suspect has no criminal history.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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