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ID Thieves Get Federal Prison Time
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Post ID Thieves Get Federal Prison Time 
Star Tribune:

A Ramsey couple have been sentenced to prison for stealing identification information from dozens of people and then fraudulently obtaining tens of thousands of dollars from financial institutions.

Shane M. Kristianson, 31, and Sarah M. Westfall, 29, each admitted last fall to the ID theft scheme in federal court in Minneapolis.

Kristianson was sentenced Wednesday to 4 1/2 years in prison, while Westfall was sentenced to 4 years.

They were ordered to pay $57,671.21 in restitution.

Among the victims, according to their plea agreements, was a woman whose purse was stolen from her parked vehicle outside a church in Lastrup, Minn., east of Little Falls. One of her credit cards was later used to make more than $6,600 in fraudulent transactions.

Court documents say many fraudulently passed checks belonging to the Scott County jail and the Pine County Detention Center were tied to Kristianson and Westfall.

Since 1998 and up to last summer, Kristianson had been convicted in Minnesota of numerous crimes, including drug offenses, theft, forgery and burglary.

From 2002 to 2006, Westfall was convicted in Minnesota of several crimes including drug offenses, forgery and theft.

According to their plea agreements:

From August 2006 through July 2007, Kristianson and Westfall stole from the mail, vehicles and other locations blank checks, endorsed checks, account information and identification documents. They used the items to produce bogus and counterfeit checks, and defrauded merchants, banks and other financial institutions out of more than $50,000 worth of money, goods and services. In all, more than 50 people and institutions in Minnesota and elsewhere were victimized.

According to a U.S. Postal Inspection Service affidavit, either Kristianson or Westfall cashed or attempted to cash counterfeit checks at merchants and financial institutions at numerous locations throughout Minnesota, South Dakota and Washington state.

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