NEW: Police say woman forged mom’s checks, stole $30,000 with boyfriend


A woman stole her 77-year-old mother’s checks and conspired with her boyfriend to forge them to obtain at least $30,000, Boca Raton police say.

Irene M. Crisman, 54, was booked Saturday evening to the Palm Beach County Jail, charged with fraudulent use of identification and fraud of between $20,000 and $50,000. She was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Crisman’s jail entry gives no address, but a 2016 Boca Raton police report says she lives in Hernando, north of Tampa.

According to the police report, the mother reported in February 2016 that Crisman stole 19 of her checks and made them out to either herself or her 58-year-old boyfriend, Clifford Gartelman.

A detective said he later determined 75 checks had been fraudulently written between November 2013 and February 2016, totaling $30,170.

All the checks were shown to have been cashed at the same convenience store on Federal Highway in Boca Raton. A store manager who also is the son of the store’s owner told the detective Crisman and her boyfriend Gartelman were regulars.

The detective later learned one of the mother’s banks had returned $4,000 to her and that the convenience store had repaid another bank $25,000.

According to the report and Boca Raton police spokesman Mark Economou, the detective filed the charges against the couple in October 2016, and posted arrest warrants, but was unable to track them down. Gartelman was not in custody in Palm Beach County as of Tuesday, and local officials said they did not know if he’d been arrested.



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