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Area woman faces 23 counts of forgery

— A Tonasket woman faces 23 counts of forgery for allegedly writing checks on the account of her step-grandfather, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Aleshia Marie Murray, 24, was charged Oct. 11 in Okanogan County Superior Court with writing the checks on the account of George R. Sauer Sr.

She was arrested Oct. 8 and released on her own recognizance Oct. 17, jail records show.

A probable cause statement, the report of Tonasket Police Chief Robert J. Burks, said Sauer’s son, George Sauer Jr., contacted police Oct. 8 alleging he’d caught Murray, his stepdaughter, cashing a check on the elder Sauer’s account.

A printout from Cashmere Valley Bank, where Sauer Sr. has a checking account, showed several checks had been cashed in Okanogan County, including 23 checks written to The Junction, 509 S. Whitcomb Ave., the statement said.

George Sauer Jr. has power of attorney for his father’s accounts. He allegedly saw her car parked at The Junction and saw her walk out. The checker allegedly said Murray had just written a check.

Sauer Jr. contacted police.

Burks said he contacted the checker, Morgan Nelson (Montanye) and obtained the check, with Sauer Sr.’s name on it. The check was made out for $48.44.

“I showed the check to Morgan, to which she told me Murray had filled out the check in front of her,” Burks’ report said. Burks allegedly showed the checks and copies of other checks to Sauer Sr., who said the signature wasn’t his and he hadn’t given Murray permission to write the checks.

Charging documents, filed by Okanogan County Prosecuting Attorney Karl Sloan, allege Murray wrote the checks between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30.

The maximum penalty for conviction on each count is five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine, plus restitution and assessments.

The amounts for the checks were not listed in court documents.

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