Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
Women indicted on felony forgery counts
Pair allegedly used fake documents to get $64,000 in loans
By Margie Wuebker
Two Celina women face felony charges after they allegedly applied for and received approximately $64,000 in private education loans with fraudulent documents.
Joan Engle, 68, 8126 state Route 197, Celina, faces three counts of forgery and her 44-year-old daughter, Karen M. Tester, 601 Frahm Pike, Celina, was indicted on a single count.
The women are scheduled to enter pleas today during arraignment hearings in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Engle allegedly filed two loan applications in July 2007 and a third in May 2008. Tester filed a similar loan application in October 2007. Each application listed Rita Snider of Celina as co-signer, although she had no knowledge of the transactions, according to Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser.
Snider learned about the activity in December 2008 when a representative of a local financial institution called to check on a fifth fraudulent application.
"Everyone involved in this matter were friends at the time," Slusser told The Daily Standard. "The victim offered the suspects an opportunity to clear up the matter."
She contacted police in January of this year after it appeared her offer had been ignored. The ensuing investigation uncovered a string of fraudulent loan applications over three years.
It's not known how the women used the money they allegedly took.
Each count carries up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine upon conviction.
The women remain free on their own recognizance.