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Former housecleaner charged with forgery and grand theft

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IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls woman formerly employed as a housekeeper is accused of stealing 30 checks and using forgery to steal over $5,000.

Irene Joyce Summers, 25, is charged with felony grand theft and felony forgery. According to court documents, the victim said in 2018 they hired Summers, who was a family acquaintance. Later, in 2019, the victim discovered someone had withdrawn $5,428 from her bank account.

Summers stopped working for the victim around the time of the discovery, reportedly because she had become too busy attending school.

Idaho Falls Police Department investigators were called when the victim made the discovery. Investigators discovered that between August 2018 and January 2019, 30 fraudulent checks had been written out to the victim’s granddaughter. The victim said they suspected Summer forged the checks, but if her granddaughter was involved, she did not want to press charges.

Investigators spoke with the granddaughter who said she was not involved, according to a police report. The grandaughter then became concerned police would charge Summers with a crime and asked if she could pay back all the money. The granddaughter filled out a statement but investigators said the handwriting did not match the forged checks.

The granddaughter passed away in 2020, over a year before charges were filed against Summers.

Summers spoke with investigators and said she did not write out any of the checks, and those she cashed were for payment for her house cleaning services. As police tried to speak with Summers in the months following the start of the investigation, she either did not answer or hung up.

After police served search warrants on bank accounts, investigators determined the money from the forged checks had been deposited into Summer’s account.

Summers was charged by Bonneville County prosecutors in January 2021 and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Investigators finally caught up to Summers and she was arrested on Oct. 19, according to court records.

She appeared for an initial appearance that day and Magistrate Judge Ryan Boyer released her on her own recognizance.

Although Summers is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean she committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

A preliminary hearing for Summer is scheduled for Nov. 2.

If convicted of both felonies, Summers could face up to 28 years in prison and or $55,000 in fines.

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