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Detention hearing set for bank fraud suspect

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A woman suspected of withdrawing thousands of dollars from various Wells Fargo Bank accounts appeared before a U.S. District judge in Utah last week for an arraignment hearing.

Bank investigators said, according to court documents, that the 34-year-old California woman was traveling through California, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Texas, New Mexico and Utah posing as legitimate bank customers and was able to carry out many different bank transactions. The transactions included the withdrawals of money in amounts between $2,500 and $9,600.

She was arrested Jan. 27 by Pleasant Grove police officers after Wells Fargo Bank officials at a Lindon branch suspected she was attempting to fraudulently obtain cash using forged documents. Court documents indicate that the woman was wanted for a suspected forgery at a Wells Fargo in Ogden the same day. The Ogden bank had alerted other locations with a picture of the woman.

Identification documents she possessed at the time of her arrest lead to an Oakland, Calif. woman who had filed a police report concerning fraudulent use of her identity and bank account.

The woman faces federal charges with potential penalties of up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud, and up to 15 years for identity fraud and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for aggravated ID theft. She could also be charged fines of up to $1 million, in addition to paying restitution to the banks. She will appear before a judge for a detention hearing Friday.