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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Two accused of fraud ploys

From Staff Reports The Spokesman-Review

Two Spokane women were arrested in unrelated stings in which they have been accused of defrauding individuals and businesses of thousands of dollars. In one case more than $100,000 was stolen from a 97-year-old victim called “Grandma” by the suspect and her husband.

Spokane police arrested 40-year-old Laurie Stone Tuesday at 2302 W. Olympic Ave. on charges of first-degree theft, money laundering and forgery in connection with $110,000 stolen from the victim, according to a release issued by the Spokane Police Department.

Spokane police Fraud Detective Kirk Kimberly and Adult Protective Services began looking into the case when a relative of the victim noticed money missing from the woman’s bank account.

It appeared the money was stolen from 2002-05, much of it deposited directly into Stone’s and her husband Troy Stone’s bank accounts. Troy Stone is being sought by police.

According to police, the Stones forged a friendship with the victim 15 years ago, gaining her trust.

In another fraud case, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested 41-year-old Jean Ann Rhea on Monday on charges of leading organized crime in connection with check fraud that bilked businesses of thousands of dollars.

Rhea allegedly operated a check fraud operation from her home at 1614 E. Bridgeport Ave., according to a release issued by the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators said that in that scheme Rhea printed counterfeit checks using stolen business account numbers and gave those checks to other people to cash.

Some of the businesses that may have been victims include Federated Auto Parts, Camp Chevrolet, North Idaho Title Loans, McDonald’s and Becker Buick.

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