First Judicial District Attorney Scott Storey announced grand jury indictments of three persons in an ongoing identity theft and forgery scheme affecting residents in Lakewood, Morrison and Evergreen. The case was prepared by agents of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation with the participation of the Lakewood and Black Hawk Police Departments and the Jefferson County Sheriff.
Constance Kay Matthews (age 42 of Denver), Mathew James Sweeney (age 41 of Denver) and Sean Thomas Montgomery (age 29 of Lakewood) were each indicted for Violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, a class two felony. According to the racketeering indictment, the trio worked together to steal mail that contained both checking account numbers and legitimate checks. The defendants allegedly referred to this conduct as "mailboxing."
The indictment alleges that the group then forged the legitimate checks and used bank account routing numbers to create phony personal checks on a computer. The forged checks were cashed at banks, casinos, Wal-Mart and other businesses.
The indictment alleges that this organized criminal activity continued from approximately April through October of 2005. During that time, more than 100 counterfeit checks were passed.
This type of activity is one reason why we desperately need an Identity Theft bill in Colorado," said District Attorney Storey. ""This is the first time we've been able to indict the participants in a "mailboxing" scheme under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act. While we were able to indict this group under the organized crime statutes, we can't always prove that criminals who steal personal identifying information and checks are operating in an organized manner. Without that proof, the penalties aren't high enough to stop this increasingly serious problem."
Mathews and Sweeney are currently in custody, and a warrant is outstanding for Montgomery. Bond for all three parties is set at $25,000.