A former licensing department supervisor pleaded guilty to 14 counts of theft, forgery and misuse of records Monday, earning a 57-month prison sentence.
Nan Farwell, 48, admitted buying more than $25,000 in clothes, jewelry and other items while using bogus credit cards and IDs six years ago.
Farwell had been a supervisor with the Spokane Valley office of the state licensing department. From 1990 until her arrest in February 1992, she used the office to create false drivers’ licenses, then bought merchandise with bogus cred it cards and checking accounts.
Farwell created at least a dozen bogus cards, all by misusing the names and identities of area women who vaguely matched her own appearance.
After her arrest, Farwell disappeared from Spokane County and was not discovered until earlier this year, when she was caught using a fake name while living in Mexico.
Just before being sentenced by Judge Gregory Sypolt, Farwell said: “I’d like to apologize to those who have suffered for my actions.”
Sypolt ordered Farwell to pay back more than $21,000 to victims of her crime spree.
About $14,000 of that restitution is owed to Spokane resident Diane Perry, who was in court Monday to watch Farwell’s plea and sentencing.
Some of that money owed comes from wages Perry lost in 1991, when she was arrested by Spokane police after more than 100 bad checks were written to various businesses in her name.
Perry at the time learned that the checks were being written from a bank she did not use.
“Naively, I went to the merchants and said, ‘I’m Diane Perry. Can I do anything to solve this problem?”’ Perry said.
Later, when police asked the merchants if Perry was the person who passed the bad checks, most remembered her as the person ripping them off, not Farwell, police records show.
When police arrested Farwell, they found several false identities in Farwell’s home, including one for Perry. At that point, charges against Perry were dropped.
Perry, 44, later filed a civil suit against Farwell and the state, claiming supervisors should have known she was misusing her job to cheat and steal property.
A Spokane court three years ago dismissed the suit against the state. But the same court ordered Farwell to pay $500,000 to Perry.
But Perry wonders if she’ll ever see a cent of that money.
“I don’t expect anything at this point,” Perry said.
“Going through this is a humbling experience. It’s like a car wreck. “Some stranger comes along and does something that changes your entire life,” she said.
Perry lost her job working with a Spokane brokerage. She moved from Spokane after Farwell’s arrest, then moved back and now works for a Spokane publishing company.
“The thing that bothers me is how much greed was the very foundation of all the problems she caused. For others, and for herself.
“She had a good job and security. And then she lost it all,” Perry said.
Through a plea bargain with prosecutors, Farwell pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree theft, three counts of second-degree theft, six counts of forgery and two counts of misuse of records.
She was sentenced to the maximum sentence on each of those counts, ranging from 57 months for each count of first-degree theft, to 12 months for each count of forgery.
But Sypolt ruled that all sentences would be served concurrently. That means Farwell will be released once she serves the 57 months - minus any time for good behavior.
The soonest she can be released would be in 45 months.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: FARWELL’S TIME Farwell will serve her sentences concurrently, so she’s scheduled to be released after 57 months.
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