CLEARLAKE – LAKE COUNTY – A Clearlake Oaks woman thought she could get away with a little check fraud at a Kelseyville bank, but she got way too ambitious to have it go unnoticed.
On Monday afternoon Shannon Leann Flores came into the Westamerica Bank in Kelseyville. She presented a check that appeared to be made out to her from the City of Clearlake in the amount of $9,762.00. The teller, following standard procedures for a check of that size, contacted the City to validate the check. The bank representative was told that the check in question was supposed to be for $175.00, and had been issued to a business in Lakeport. They also said that the business had already reported the check was missing likley due to their mail being stolen.
According to Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s office, the bank employee contacted their office to report a possible fraud, and a patrol deputy was dispatched to the scene at 3 pm. The bank, after refusing to accept the check, returned it to the 32-year-old woman. The deputy then spoke with Flores and asked to see the check she was trying to cash. She showed the check, and explained that the city had recently purchased some land from her for road construction, and that she had just been mailed the check in payment. When challenged by the deputy, she changed her tale and said she wasn’t sure why someone would have sent her the check. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s dispatch reported that Ms. Flores was currently on searchable probation for theft. She had also been recently arrested on October 22 of last year for probation violation and possession of burglary tools.
The deputy conducted a search of Flores’ vehicle and found numerous checks, credit cards, ID cards and financial information from several different people. She was arrested and brought to Lake County’s Hill Road Correction facility for booking. On the way, she shared with the deputy that she had a pipe with her as well. When they arrived, a female correctional officer conducted a search of her person, locating a glass pipe, which was added to the pile of evidence. The deputy took a close look at the pipe and recognized it was “loaded” with methamphetamine (.42 grams) which was perhaps planned as a celebration for the successful cashing of a nearly $10,000 fake check.
Flores was booked for forgery, burglary, possession of stolen property along with possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia.