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RACINE — An 18-year-old Racine woman allegedly cashed $2,903 in fraudulent checks, then posted a photo on Snapchat, where she was seen “flashing several hundred dollars” with the caption “In one day. #THISaintTAXcash (This ain’t tax cash).”

The woman, Natalie Sabala of the 1600 block of St. Clair Street, faces four felony charges of uttering a forgery and felony fraud against a financial institution.

Another woman — Esmeralda Gonzalez, 21, who is reportedly Sabala’s stepsister — allegedly cashed another $2,181 in checks from the same bank, using the same method as Sabala. She faces three counts of uttering a forgery and felony fraud against a financial institution.

According to a criminal complaint:

All of the checks in question came from a long-closed auto detailing company, according to the Racine Police Department, where both Gonzalez and Sabala both reportedly worked for a short time. The checks, all of which were reportedly for “payroll,” were cashed on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20. They ranged in amounts from $650 to $750.

On Feb. 19, Gonzalez reportedly cashed two checks at Educators Credit Union, 3525 Rapids Drive. Later in the day, she returned to cash a third check, but was informed that the first two checks had been flagged for fraud. She then reportedly fled the scene.

The next day, Sabala did the same thing at the Educators branch at 1400 North Newman Road. When she returned to cash a third check, an employee told her the first two checks had been flagged, at which point Sabala allegedly fled, leaving behind several checks.

Sabala made an initial appearance in court Tuesday. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 29 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center.

, 717 Wisconsin Ave.

An initial appearance is scheduled for Gonzalez at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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Reporter

Adam Rogan (SCHS '14, Drake U. '17) has been covering homelessness, arts & culture and just about everything else for the JT since March 2018. He enjoys mid-afternoon naps, loud music played quietly and social media followers @Could_Be_Rogan

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