Couple accused of identity theft

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldJuly 10, 2014 

A Washington couple are accused of using forged checks from one man's account to pad the bank account of another unsuspecting victim so they could shop with that woman's stolen debit card.

Heather Marie Eakle and Michael Lamar Odom, both 20, are charged in Benton County Superior Court with two counts each of first-degree identity theft.

Eakle, of Spokane, also faces two counts of forgery. She pleaded innocent Thursday and has a Sept. 29 trial date. She is out of custody on her personal recognizance and is allowed to travel throughout Eastern Washington while the case is pending.

A $10,000 bench warrant was issued for Odom because he failed to appear in court Thursday.

Eakle forged two checks in early January on a man's account for $1,950 and $2,150, according to court documents.

The account holder did not give Eakle permission to write the checks.

Meanwhile, Odom previously had stolen a woman's wallet, so the couple deposited those forged checks into her account, documents said.

On Jan. 28, shortly after making the deposits, Eakle and Odom then allegedly used the woman's stolen debit card at the Richland Walmart to buy $1,602 in merchandise and at an ATM to withdraw $424, documents said.

Eakle and Odom then purchased $1,600 in goods at the Kennewick Walmart, documents said. They also allegedly got $403 in cash from Cardtronic, a non-bank ATM operator.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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