La Pine woman gets 2 1/2 years for computer crime, ID theft

Involving insurance firm where she worked

BEND, Ore. - A La Pine woman was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to identity theft, computer crimes and impersonating a public official.

Janell Welch, 39, was indicted last year on more than 40 counts of computer crime, ID theft and second-degree forgery. She was accused of accessing personal information from her former employer, La Pine Insurance Center, and using her co-workers’ information to fill out false insurance claims.

While Welch was facing those charges, she allegedly impersonated a former Deschutes County deputy district attorney.

On Friday, Welch pleaded guilty to four counts of computer crimes, five counts of ID theft, one count of criminal impersonation and one count of methamphetamine possession.

Deschutes County Circuit Judge Michael Adler sentenced Welch to 30 months in prison, with a subsequent probationary period in which she will not be allowed to use computers or the Internet or contact her previous employers.

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