Crime & Courts

Woman charged with cashing $20K in stolen checks as feds investigate mail theft rings

A 32-year-old Anchorage woman faces 20 criminal charges in federal court for cashing $20,000 in stolen checks from more than 10 victims, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The investigation into the thefts is one of several that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has pursued to address an increase in "mail theft rings" in the city.

Denae Sullivan has been charged with 20 counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors say she altered checks stolen from mailboxes and vehicles and then cashed them at banks around Anchorage.

Court records show that Sullivan also is charged with stealing the identities of people here and in Illinois.

Sullivan "altered the payee to match a driver's license she obtained from a victim, and used that stolen identification to negotiate the stolen checks," according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward.

The stolen checks included rental payments and donations to a church; some of the checks were blank, Steward said in a release.

Steward did not immediately return a call for comment.

The crimes carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail or a $1 million fine, or both.