Woman pleads guilty in identity theft case

Posted at: 05/17/2013 8:06 AM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - An Albuquerque woman has pleaded guilty to identity theft charges that stemmed from the cashing of more than $141,000 in counterfeit checks at stores in five states.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Shelly Nichols, also known as Shelly Lopez, entered her plea Thursday.

Nichols admitted that she and her co-defendant, Donna Gabaldon, cashed fake payroll checks at Wal-Mart stores in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Texas.

Prosecutors say the crimes happened between October 2009 and June 2010.

Nichols created fake drivers' licenses with false names, addresses and license numbers that had photographs of herself or Gabaldon on them.  Nichols also created fake checks made payable to the individuals identified in the fake licenses.

Nichols faces 25 months in federal prison. Gabaldon was sentenced to two years in prison last September.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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