WENATCHEE — A Malaga man already charged with 37 crimes related to an alleged card cracking scam is facing 14 additional charges of identity theft and forgery.
Damien S. Hally was arrested Jan. 30 on suspicion of depositing 16 forged checks into the bank accounts of six people. His new case stems from evidence found at his Malaga home after his initial arrest.
Chelan County sheriff’s detectives found seven $900 checks written on the bank account of companies from Detroit and Chicago made payable to four separate people, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Chelan County Superior Court.
Hally, 22, was scheduled to make a preliminary appearance Monday afternoon in superior court where a judge will determine whether there is probable cause to believe he committed seven counts of forgery and seven counts of second-degree identity theft. The Chelan County Prosecutor’s Office has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file charges.
In the case filed in January, Hally is charged with 16 counts of forgery, 16 counts of second-degree identity theft, four counts of intimidating a witness and one count of leading organized crime.
Detectives believe he convinced the alleged victims — through threats or a promise to earn more money — to deposit forged checks into their bank accounts and then instructed them to withdraw the money in cash for him, the affidavit said. All 16 checks were for $900.
Four alleged victims told detectives that he threatened physical harm if they complained to law enforcement.
Hally told authorities he’s earned $100,000 over the last decade by “scamming” people, a Jan. 31 probable cause affidavit said. He denied threatening anyone.
Comments to alleged victims and posts on social media appear to show Hally boasting of his exploits.
One woman provided detectives with screenshots of a conversation between her and Hally in which he said he scammed her, and in another he provided her with the definition of “card cracking.” In short, it’s a type of fraud in which the suspect deposits bad checks into the victim’s bank account and then quickly withdraws cash.
Following his arrest, Facebook group Wenatchee Valley Crime and Events shared screenshots of an account — identified by the sheriff’s office as Hally’s — admitting to scamming people and saying “Cops ain’t gonna waste there (sic) time on me they got bigger issues.”
Hally is being held at the Chelan County Regional Justice Center.