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South Range woman faces forgery charges

Ashley Christell OlsonA South Range woman accused of creating and cashing fake checks, including two using the Douglas County Jail's account number, waived a preliminary hearing Jan. 10 in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Ashley Christell Olson, 32, is facing two counts each of identity theft, uttering a forgery and unauthorized use of an entity's identifying information and documents, all felonies. She also faces charges of uttering a forgery and misdemeanor theft in connection with a bogus check written out to a Superior grocery store. Cash bond of $2,000 was set for Olson and she was ordered to have no contact with the bank the checks were drawn from and the grocery store.

According to the criminal complaints:

A pair of bad checks were found to have come through the jail's account in early December. A total of three transactions were found for a single check number. The original check was issued from the jail; the other two were cashed at Kwik Trip stores in Duluth and Superior for $93.28 and $87.27.

Surveillance video from both stores showed Olson entering and exiting, according to the complaint. At the Superior store, Olson wrote the check at the register.

Olson was also identified in footage from the Harborview Super One Foods store using what turned out to be a bogus check to pay for groceries and receive $10 cash.

Olson allegedly has an extensive history of similar criminal activity in the area, including $2,817.14 in Douglas County forgeries alone.

When interviewed by Superior Police Detective Chris Moe, "Olson said all she's been doing is making checks and doing meth." She admitted printing counterfeit checks using account information stolen from people.

She told Moe that people would bring her checks and she would use the banking information on them to make false checks. Olson said she was not paid, but would barter for groceries and things.

When taken into custody in Duluth, Olson was found to have a ledger containing various names, dates of birth and account numbers; some of the information in the ledger has shown up as forged checks.

Olson allegedly admitted to Moe that "she is the No. 1 'check' person in town at this time."

Each felony charge carries a maximum penalty of six years of imprisonment and fine up to $10,000.

Olson's next court appearance was set for Feb. 5. She remained in custody Thursday at the Douglas County Jail.