For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office is releasing details on a recent fraud prosecution that resulted in the conviction of two defendants charged with multiple counts of burglary and fraud related crimes. The defendants were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their crimes that included forging and cashing fake checks at casinos and local businesses, as well as doing business without a license. Washoe County Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Jeff Hoppe, worked with the Sparks Police Department, Reno Police Department, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada State Contractors Board, as well as detectives with the Regional Crime Suppression Unit (CSU) during the prosecution of the case that resulted in both defendants pleading guilty before sentencing on September 6th, 2018.
Donald Paul Jackson, 34, from Minden Nevada, pled guilty in July to one count of Establishing or Possessing a Financial Forgery Laboratory, one count of Burglary and one count of Uttering a Forged Instrument. Jackson was sentenced to a combined term of 20 years in prison, with parole eligibility to begin only after 8 years has been served.
Sarah Jane Norried, 35,from Minden, Nevada, pled guilty in July to one count of Establishing or Possessing a Financial Forgery Laboratory, one count of Burglary and one count of Uttering a Forged Instrument. Norried was sentenced to a combined 15 years in prison, with parole eligibility after a minimum of 4 years has been served.
The case against Norried and Jackson began on January 1, 2018, when the Sparks Police Department (SPD) responded to a report from a local casino of a suspect attempting to cash a fraudulent check. When officers arrived, their investigation led to Jackson and Norried, who were parked outside the casino. When the officers attempted to make contact, the defendants sped away and a brief pursuit took place before it was terminated over safety concerns. The vehicle Jackson was driving was eventually located in a nearby parking lot, unoccupied but containing identifying information for Jackson. Further investigation led to Jackson and Norried’s hotel room and a search warrant was obtained. When the room was searched, officers found computer and printing equipment used to make fraudulent checks, as well as identification cards of others. Jackson and Norried were located two days later by CSU detectives and arrested.
Additional investigation revealed that Norried and Jackson had been passing forged checks throughout Washoe County for several months as well as across northern Nevada. It was discovered that the two defendants passed fake checks at various casinos while using fake payroll checks from numerous local businesses. The two defendants also defrauded numerous victims through an unlicensed contracting business. Jackson would pose as a contractor and steal the victim’s money by not completing work as he promised.
At sentencing, DDA Hoppe highlighted the sophisticated and continuous nature of the Defendant’s crimes and their deliberate victimization of both large and small local businesses, along with unsuspecting homeowners. DDA Hoppe argued that the defendant’s criminal conduct only ceased was when they were in custody pending the outcome of this case. For those reasons, the prosecutor argued that their conduct is deserving of lengthy prison sentences.