An Eau Claire woman accused of making fraudulent checks in the name of an Eau Claire business will spend four years on probation and one year in jail.
Judge John Manydeeds went along with a joint sentencing agreement by prosecutors and Eck’s defense attorney. As a condition of probation, Eck must successfully complete Drug Court.
“This is it. This is your last option. You’re getting a huge, huge break here,” Manydeeds told Eck. “You’re lucky you were admitted to a treatment court.”
Eck told Manydeeds she wants to turn her life around after an addiction to methamphetamine. She said her children are grown and she will be a grandmother later this year.
Being accepted into Drug Court “is a blessing to me. I’ll have more tools and resources to help me keep sober,” Eck said. “I have no desire to go back to using.”
Defense attorney Matthew Krische said Eck has spent the past 139 days in custody.
“We have a good start on sobriety already,” he said, adding that Eck wants to go back to school to earn a degree in counseling.
“She has personal experience with drug addiction,” Krische said. “She wants to help others.”
Some of the fake checks were used by some of Eck’s acquaintances without her knowledge, police said.
According to the criminal complaint:
Eau Claire police investigated a series of cases concerning Eck, who fraudulently produced checks from Williams Diamond Center, 2823 London Road.
Police interviewed Eck, and she admitted producing and possessing multiple checks from the jewelry store. She admitted getting the routing and bank numbers for the business and using that information to order a book of fraudulent checks that displayed the name of Williams Diamond Center and its routing number.
Another person deposited one of the checks into that person’s personal bank account for $700 on Sept. 24. A second and third person did the same thing on Sept. 26 and 28, respectively, for $150 and $200.
Eck issued several checks herself in varying amounts in September to banks and at least one Eau Claire convenience store totaling $1,330.
Eck told police the checks she made using Williams Diamond Center information were in her room at the Garton Motel in Eau Claire. She said she passed the checks until she was arrested and placed in jail on another matter.
After that, Eck believed other people took checks from her room and used them. Several people would come and go through her room due to her drug use, she said.
Eck said she did not give the other three people the checks they used, but they were made by her.