A Northern Michigan woman has been arrested for attempting to use her dead mother's identity to apply for credit cards.

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Charges Are Really Racking Up

Sarah-Lea Marie Helsel was arraigned on Wednesday (8/3) on a laundry list of charges. Michigan State Police have charged the woman from South Boardman with one count of identity theft, one count of a false statement of identity for a financial transaction device, one count of stealing/retaining a financial transactions device without consent, and one count false pretenses over $999 but less than $20,000.

Turned In By Her Brother

Helsel was arrested, in part, because of her brother. The woman's sibling reported to the Kalkaska branch of the Michigan State Police that a family member had allegedly been using his dead mother's identity to open credit cards.

The man told officers that his sister had been making charges on their recently-deceased mother's credit cards and that the charges exceeded $12,000. He also told authorities that the woman had been applying for additional credit cards.

According to 9 & 10 News, a search warrant was issued and served at the woman's residence. On July 17, police seized evidence and issued an arrest warrant.

Helsel surrendered to Michigan state police on Wednesday (8/3).
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