Complaints: Several cases are intertwined

Published 9:51am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A local charged last week with credit card fraud is tied to another open case in Mower County, authorities say.

Prosecutors charged Thomas Edward Walsh, 53, of Austin, with credit card fraud and check forgery, both felonies, and obstructing the legal process, a gross misdemeanor.

Court complaints allege Walsh was allowed to use a woman’s credit card for minor purchases; however, Walsh lent that credit card to another person, Jose Lopez Soto Jr., who tallied $788 in charges for groceries, hotel rooms and items at Walmart.

Another case alleges Walsh deposited a $3,800 check in March 2012 and several days later withdrew $3,000. The check was later returned as non-sufficient funds. The court complaint adds Walsh’s girlfriend, a joint name on the account, signed the other account holder’s name on the check, and the funds were never in the account. The other account holder said she never would have that much money in her checking. Police say Walsh made no attempt to rectify the issue, as well.

Then last week, Soto was charged with felonies for second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and terroristic threats, along with a separate charge for fifth-degree drug possession.

According to the court complaint, Soto was banging on a window at an Austin home and making threats with an extendable baton to someone inside. A homeowner called police, and Soto left and returned about 20 minutes later and continued banging a window. Police say Soto was upset after someone reported he had used the credit card given to him by Walsh.

Police found Soto within a block of that home, along with Erika Ashley Anderson, 25, and arrested them. Anderson pleaded guilty to driving without a license and giving a false name to an officer and was fined $210. She is also charged with mail theft from a previous case.

That court complaint states Soto and Anderson were at the 1300 block of Oakland Place SE on Dec. 28 when Anderson stole a UPS package containing $1,772 worth of prescription medication off of a porch.

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