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Woman faces new check fraud charges while awaiting jail on earlier conviction

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Woman faces new check fraud charges while awaiting jail on earlier conviction

Lastarza Williams, 27, gives officers a piece of her mind as she is led to a transport wagon after being charged with passing stolen checks while awaiting a 90 day jail sentence for a conviction in...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED October 16, 2009 2:01 a.m.
Arrested again for very much the same thing she was jailed for previously, Lastarza Beatrice Williams, 27, was escorted to a Manteca Police transport van Thursday afternoon yelling at officers and kicking.

Officers charged Williams with burglary, possession of fraudulent checks and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.  Already on probation, she was scheduled to serve 90 days in county jail in November for an arrest in late May on a burglary conviction related to fraudulent checks she had passed with a federal credit union on West Yosemite Avenue.

At that time she was taken in handcuffs in front of her children from the home of her parents on Todd Street southwest of Union and Yosemite avenues.  She was back on the street shortly after that earlier arrest.

Police said she was living in a two-story home Thursday in the 400 block of North Walnut Avenue – a home that was devoid of any furniture and possibly an abandoned foreclosure, officers said.

Inside the residence officers said they located a computer, a printer and boxes of half-sized exact replicas of recently designed $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills.  They also found numerous full-sized brochures explaining the safeguards that have been implemented into the new currency designed to prevent counterfeiting.

Officers said at least two dozen checks from various companies were found strewn about the floor of the house along with mail and IDs that were believed to have been stolen.

Detective Steve Harris said Williams had been inside the Union Road Raley’s market three times every day for the last two weeks attempting to cash checks on a non-existent account.  Harris said she would always go to a different checker so she wouldn’t be recognized. She became very agitated if the clerks questioned her credibility to the point many became fearful.

“She is extremely argumentative when passing the checks,” Harris said.  “She gets hostile and agitated, and is very confrontational.”

The checks to Raley’s totaled several hundred dollars, he said.  Those checks were written on Bank of America.

She was using the same bank checking  account all over town, Harris said, noting she passed a check for $700 at Best Buy. The woman had been using the alias of Lastarza B. Manteca in signing the checks, he added.

Officers were somewhat stymied by the simulated U.S. bills printed front and back that had been shipped to her via UPS.  Harris said the investigation into the full picture of what the woman had done and was planning to do could take up to three weeks.
The new $5 bill and others – safer, smarter, more secure – can be seen at the website www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney.

Bail was set at $56,000 and she was remanded to the San Joaquin County Jail awaiting a court date of Oct. 19 in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.
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