Former NDSU woman's lacrosse player accused of using player's name, bank job to forge checks
By Emily Welker / The Forum A former North Dakota State University women's lacrosse player and team treasurer is accused of using her job at a local bank and her fellow teammate's signature to forge checks to the team and to herself. Alaina Larae...
By Emily Welker / The Forum
A former North Dakota State University women’s lacrosse player and team treasurer is accused of using her job at a local bank and her fellow teammate’s signature to forge checks to the team and to herself.
Alaina Larae Ritchie, 20, of Fargo, was charged Friday in Cass County District Court with one count of forgery, a Class C felony. According to court documents filed with the charges, a Gate City Bank employee called Fargo police May 22 to report four checks issued by the bank to both escrow refunds and insurance companies had been signed over to the NDSU Women’s Lacrosse Club with the name Emily Driessen and deposited to the club’s account.
All four checks, which totaled $6,083.30, were mailed to bad addresses so they were returned to the bank, court documents say.
The bank did not know how Driessen got the checks.
NDSU employees told police that Driessen, the club president, and Ritchie, its treasurer, were the only ones with access to the club’s bank account.
Ritchie, who worked at Gate City Bank, had access to the returned checks at work, court documents allege, but when police questioned her, she denied involvement, as did Driessen.
Driessen’s handwriting didn’t match the signatures on the back of the checks, and when police questioned Ritchie again, she admitted stealing the checks, forging her teammate’s name and depositing them into the account, court records say.
She also admitted reserving about $2,800 of the money for her own use, court documents say.
Ritchie told police she used the money to pay lacrosse club expenses, but that no one told her to use the checks for that purpose, and no one knew she did it.
Ritchie told police she repaid U.S. Bank the amount the club’s account came up short when customers signed affidavits about the missing checks, in an attempt to correct the situation.
Ritchie did not respond to an emailed request for comment to this story.
An official for Gate City Bank would not say if Ritchie is still employed there, citing bank policy.
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