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Woman denies identity theft charges for Costco, Radio Shack purchases

Woman denies identity theft charges for Costco, Radio Shack purchases

A woman denied charges on Thursday that she and another person stole two victims’ identities and used them to make purchases at places like Radio Shack and Costco.

Teisha Nicole West pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to six counts of aggravated identity theft, six counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

West’s co-defendant, Lawrence Howard Kahle, has pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

Prosecutors accuse Kahle and West of using a stolen identification from victims identified in court records as a Jane Doe and a John Doe to purchase goods in the total amount of $2,653.38 between June and October of 2020.

Prosecutors say the purchases range from $50 at a Town Pump in Great Falls to $1,930.17 at the Helena Costco. Other alleged purchases were at Radio Shack, Red Robin and the Tap Inn in Billings.

Conspiracy and wire fraud are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, plus fines and supervised release time. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by two years in prison in addition to punishment for the underlying felony, plus fines and a year of supervised release.

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