Woman sentenced for check forgery, drug charges

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

By Michael Stoll, Austin Daily Herald

AUSTIN — A woman who pleaded guilty to check forgery, theft and drug charges in January was sentenced in Mower County District Court on Thursday.

Meranda Lynn O’Conner, 35, of East Grand Forks was sentenced to:

Meranda O’Conner

Email newsletter signup

• A stayed prison term of 17 months for felony check forgery over $250, felony check forgery-make or alter a check and felony fifth-degree drug possession

• One year in jail for gross misdemeanor forgery-false endorsement

• Ninety days in jail for misdemeanor theft

She must serve five years of probation, during which she must follow 19 conditions, perform 80 hours of community service and pay $85 in fines. She received credit for 261 days served.

Charges of felony check forgery under $250, felony financial transaction card fraud-use without consent-more than $250, and felony financial transaction card fraud-use without consent-less than $250 were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

In the various cases, O’Connor forged a nearly $400 check intended to buy a vacuum for the Mower County Jail, forged checks at Hy-Vee and Walmart, forged a credit card rewards check and maxed out a credit card through more than $1,000 in several online purchases before she was eventually arrested. Police tracked her whereabouts when she tried to use the maxed out credit card to order from Steve’s Pizza.

In one case, a woman spoke to law enforcement on Aug. 24, 2016, about her U.S. Bank credit card being “maxed out” in a suspected scam.

According to the court complaint, she had found out her card had been used for several purchases: $500 at Victoria’s Secret, $30.87 at Steve’s Pizza, $200.95 at www.jpay.com, $500 on www.squaredup.com and $1 on www.amazon.com.

When she was finally arrested, police found plastic bags used to possess drugs, a piece of paper with a debit card number and a person’s name, and a bag of 1.15 grams of methamphetamine.

In 2012, O’Conner was sentenced to three years probation on one count of uttering altered currency, and she was sentenced to five years probation in 2015 in Freeborn County for offering a forged check.