Hearing waived in theft and forgery case

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SANDPOINT — A Ponderay woman accused of perpetrating a series of financial crimes against relatives and acquaintances waived her right Wednesday to a preliminary hearing.

Aileen Marie Bennett’s waiver advances the case to 1st District Court, where she’s scheduled to be arraigned March 26. She is charged with two counts of grand theft, in addition to lone counts of unlawful use of a financial transaction card and forgery.

Bennett, 25, is free on her own recognizance while the case is pending, court records show.

The fraudulent card charge dates back to 2016, while the other offenses occurred last spring, according to the criminal complaint. She allegedly used a woman’s credit card for the Home Depot and running up $2,354 in purchases. The alleged victim confronted Bennett about the card’s use and allowed Bennett to pay her back.

Bennett, however, never repaid the woman, a Ponderay Police report said. A relative, meanwhile, told police that Bennett writing thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent checks to herself and to purchase a vehicle.

Fraudulent checks and electronic debits totaled more than $30,000 according to a police affidavit.

Bennett was scheduled to undergo police interviews at least twice during the investigation, although she failed to show up for them, court records indicate.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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