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Rigby couple arrested after allegedly trying to cash fraudulent check in Pocatello

Crime Watch

POCATELLO — A man and woman have each been charged for allegedly cashing fraudulent checks at a Pocatello bank.

Charolette Marie Kirschbaum, 38, has been charged with felony making or passing a fictitious check, according to court documents. Michael Elmo Kirschbaum, 45, has been charged with felony forgery.

A third person who may have been involved has not been charged, court records show.

Pocatello police received notification of an alarm activation at a bank on the 2700 block of Pole Line Road around 10:15 a.m. on July 25, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When officers arrived, they spoke with the bank manager. The manager told officers that the alarm had been activated after a woman, identified as Charolette, had attempted to pass a forged check in the amount of $845.25.

This was only seven days after a man, identified as Michael, had allegedly passed a fraudulent check for $975.45 at the same bank.

Both checks were from the account of a business in Soda Springs.

The bank manager told officers that the owner of the business had contacted the bank after the first check was passed to inform the bank that the check was not authorized and that the signature on the check had been forged.

The allegedly forged signature on the check matched the first name of the business manager but did not match the last name.

When Charolette attempted to cash the second check, a teller activated the alarm at the manager’s request.

Due to the alarm activation, Charolette had been trapped inside the bank. Officers spoke with her after collecting information from the bank manager.

Charolette told the officers that both checks had been payroll checks from her and Michael’s job, the affidavit says. She told the officers that they had done tax preparation for the Soda Springs company and that they believed the checks to be authentic.

After talking with officers, Charolette allegedly admitted that the checks had been forged. She said that she and Michael had been working with a third person in Idaho Falls and that the third person would provide her and Michael with the signed checks. They would then cash the checks and give half the money to the third person.

Charolette admitted that she knew the checks to be fraudulent, according to the affidavit, adding that she had passed three of them — two in Pocatello and one in Idaho Falls.

While Charolette was questioned inside the bank, Michael was questioned by other officers in the parking lot.

After first saying that the checks had been pay for yard work, Michael eventually admitted that the checks were fraudulent. He also told officers that he and Charolette had been provided the checks by their “ring leader” in Idaho Falls. He said that he had passed four or five checks, the affidavit says — some in the Pocatello area and others in Idaho Falls.

Police reports do not indicate any investigation into the alleged third party’s involvement, and cannot find any arrest record matching their name.

Both Michael and Charolette were booked into Bannock County Jail. Charolette is currently being held on a $5,000 bond and Michael is being held on a $20,000 bond.

Though the Kirschbaums has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean they committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

If they are found guilty, each could face up to 14 years in prison.

Both Charolette and Michael are scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 9 for separate preliminary hearings.

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