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Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, File

Midvale man charged in 'sophisticated' forgery operation

By Pat Reavy  |  Posted Apr 21st, 2017 @ 6:45am



SALT LAKE CITY — A Midvale man who prosecutors say was running a "sophisticated" operation of stealing personal information and producing fake checks and IDs has been charged with 30 felonies.

Joseph Russell Mikulski, 40, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony; nine counts of forging an ID, a second-degree felony; 10 counts of possessing another person's ID, a third-degree felony; and 10 counts of forgery, a third-degree felony.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Mikulski used a "very sophisticated methodology" of stealing a person's ID — typically through car burglaries — and then converting that information into different forms, such as checks and fake IDs.

There are "scores of victims" in this case, Gill said.

The investigation into the forged documents began in May 2016 when police were called to Mikulski's residence to investigate an assault case, according to charging documents. While in the house, police noticed several laptops, hard drives and cellphones.

Detectives found forged drivers' licenses and Social Security cards, as well as forged checks made out to the people who allegedly had their information stolen by Mikulski. He would make a fake ID using a victim's real name and then create a fake check made out to that person so he could cash them, according to charging documents.

Some of the fake checks were created to look as though they came from the state accounting department and Olympus High School, charges state. The checks ranged from about $400 to $1,200, according to the charges.

Investigators also found debit cards made out to victims who had their IDs stolen, though they had not applied for those cards, charges state.

Court records show Mikulski has a lengthy criminal record of similar activity.

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