IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls woman will spend time confined to her house and on probation after stealing a relative’s identity and racking up thousands of dollars in dental bills.
Toni Jo Lepper, 50, received the sentence of 60 days of house arrest and a four-year term on probation by District Judge Bruce Pickett on April 21. Pickett opted to suspended a two to five-year prison sentence that could be served if Lepper is not successful on probation.
Lepper previously pleaded guilty in February to felony grand theft by larceny, embezzlement, extortion or by receiving stolen goods. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommend Lepper serve nothing longer than a rider program.
In August, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s office received a call from a woman who had been served papers saying she had been sent to a debt collector due to unpaid dental bills, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com. The woman suspected Lepper, who allegedly drained the victim’s bank account in 2016, had stolen her identity to apply for credit at a dentist’s office.
The victim said the dentist’s office would not say who applied for more than $3,000 in credit in her name back in 2016. While speaking with deputies, the victim said the dentist’s office admitted to never seeing her or having the victim as a patient.
When detectives spoke with Lepper, she said she needed teeth and stole the victim’s identity to pay for dentures. Lepper said she added the victim to the account without permission, knowing the dentist would not give her credit herself.
In addition to the time on probation, Pickett ordered Lepper to pay restitution to the victim. She must also complete 100 hours of community service, according to court records.