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Shullsburg woman gets probation for ATM scheme
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DARLINGTON - A Shullsburg woman entered a plea deal Monday in Lafayette County Circuit Court for her part in a scheme to defraud a Darlington bank out of $3,300 using fake ATM deposits.

Terrashia Lee Brown, 26, Shullsburg, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of fraud against a financial institution, downgraded from a felony.

She was sentenced to one year on probation, with conditions that she not possess or consume any nonprescription controlled substance or any prescription medicine for which she does not have a prescription.

The felony cases against her codefendants are still pending. A warrant is out for the arrest of Brandon W. Goldston, 42, Platteville.

Tara J. Jones, 47, Dubuque, Iowa, has a status conference May 15.

According to the criminal complaint filed Jan. 26, Brown, Goldston and Jones knew each other and had used drugs together.

"Jones admitted knowing Brown and Goldston because they came to Dubuque, with Brown's children, to buy crack cocaine," according to the report. Brown also told police she had used crack cocaine with Jones and Goldston.

The trio conspired to make six deposits, ranging from $300 to $1,000, into Brown's checking account at an ATM in Dubuque between Nov. 23 and Nov. 30. But instead of depositing the indicated value in cash or a check, they inserted an empty envelope into the machine.

First National Bank would then credit the account right away for the amount indicated on the deposits, giving the defendants time to make cash withdrawals and purchases using Brown's debit card at convenience stores and gas stations.

John Knellwolf, president of First National Bank at Darlington, reported the fraud to Darlington police on Nov. 30.

- Katjusa Cisar