MUSKOGEE -- A Muldrow woman has become the latest in a line of defendants to enter a guilty plea in connection with a federal counterfeit check cashing scheme.

U.S. Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling said Ashley Nicholle Looper, 21, pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Looper was one of 14 co-defendants indicted in July 2007. Charges arose from an investigation by U.S. Secret Service.

Looper conspired with the co-defendants, who in January 2007 passed counterfeit checks at federally insured banks in Oklahoma and Missouri. The checks were made using actual checking account numbers from personal checks which were stolen from mailboxes.

U.S. Magistrate Steven P. Shreder accepted Looper's guilty plea and ordered the completion of a pre-sentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following its completion. Looper remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.

The statutory range of punishment is up to five years imprisonment and/or up to $250,000 in fines, Sperling said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Wilson represented the government.



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