An identity theft case that took years for authorities to figure out found an initially presumed suspect to be a victim in a check fraud scheme, Times-Call reports.
In 2007, Margot Somerville, a 70-year-old grandmother and retired bank vice president, was tagged as a prime suspect by the Wheat Ridge Police Department after an individual used her identity to cash thousands of dollars in forged checks in Colorado, the news source states. The actual thief, Andrea Harris-Frazier, 56, deposited fraudulent checks under Somerville's name and withdrew $3,000 at a time from banks. Somerville lost $20,000 because of Harris-Frazier's scam, as well as $60,000 to court fees trying to prove her innocence. "The whole thing was really ludicrous. To be honest, if I hadn't had the means to hire a darned good lawyer, I probably would have sat in jail for a very long time," said Somerville. "They were so bent on the fact that I did it, that they weren't going to look anywhere else." Late in October, Harris-Frazier's 24-year prison sentence was dismissed.