Inmate pleads guilty to check forgery, will stay in prison

Published 8:00 pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

The first of two women in an August check cashing scheme pleaded guilty Friday in Mower County Court.

Beth Marie Hansen, 26, of Rochester pleaded guilty to felony check forgery. The other allegedly involved, Kandyce Kristen Keeler, 28, of Rochester, previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony check forgery.

Hansen — who was convicted of a July 2011 Walmart theft in which she stole more than $2,000 of merchandise, fled officers at high speeds, assaulted an officer and possessed drugs — was recently sentenced to two years in prison after a probation violation. For her sentencing in this case, she will continue to serve her prison time.

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Hansen was arrested on Aug. 2. According to the court complaint, she and Keeler passed fake checks at Bobee Jo’s bar in Austin in June and later were caught.

A detective discovered Hansen, who was identified on surveillance, was being investigated in Rochester along with Keeler for forgery. According to the complaint, police believe Keeler was making the checks and Hansen was helping pass them. They also believe Keeler tried to cash two of the three checks at Bobee Jo’s Bar, as well. An employee caught wind of the alleged scam during the third check passing. The women were allegedly using the name “Felicia Pigeon” as the account holder.