Tullock sentenced to four years for theft and forgery

Orcas resident Patricia J. Tullock, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of theft in the first degree, three counts of forgery and two counts of trafficking in stolen property. She was sentenced on Sept. 20 to 50 months. Tullock was transferred to Island County Jail where she will be assessed and then taken to a correctional facility.

The charges stemmed from a series of incidents in 2015. Judy L. Barnes, 50, was charged with two counts of theft in the second degree and two counts of forgery, and Jordan Jefferson, 33, was charged with theft in the first degree and second degree and two counts of forgery.

Barnes was sentenced in June to 12 months and is currently serving at Purdy Women’s Correctional Facility. Jefferson did not show up for his arraignment on April 29 and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. He turned himself in, and his trial is set for Nov. 28.

The allegations

In the fall of 2015, an Orcas man reported that his Washington State Ferries Wave2Go business account had been fraudulently used after receiving a bill for $1,000. The investigating deputy found that numerous ferry trips were charged to the account by multiple people. Tullock was employed by the victim off and on for six years both for his business and as a house cleaner.

In October, the victim noticed large sums of cash and a ferry pass had gone missing from his home. According to the officer’s report, he confronted Tullock and she admitted to stealing cash from the residence. She returned $38.

On Nov. 3, the victim received a call from the Anacortes branch of Key Bank stating that a male subject identifying himself as “J. Jefferson” was attempting to cash a $7,754 check under the victim’s business name. He told the teller it was attempted fraud, and the police were called. The suspect fled before deputies arrived but he left behind the check. After the incident, the victim called the Orcas branch of Key Bank and discovered that multiple checks had been fraudulently cashed on the business account in the preceding days. The checks were allegedly made payable to “Patricia Tullock” and individuals whom the victim did not know. He told deputies that he called Tullock, at which time she allegedly admitted to stealing the checkbook and writing herself and others checks.

The following day, the victim contacted Chase Bank and discovered additional forged checks, some of which were reportedly made payable to Tullock. After looking into his bank records, the victim discovered checks allegedly forged by Tullock as far back as August 2015, totaling nearly $6,000.

In her interview with the sheriff’s department, Tullock said she was given the Wave2Go card and that it was stolen from her son’s wallet. She admitted allowing other people to use the card. Tullock told the deputy that she took the checkbook from the victim’s office because she and other employees were authorized to use it. She claims to have written the checks as advanced draws.

In the investigation, deputies found two checks for a total of $8,709 were written to a J. Jefferson on the victim’s Key Bank account. After viewing surveillance video footage, deputies determined that Jefferson cashed a check for $954 at the Friday Harbor Key Bank branch on Nov. 2, 2015. On Nov. 5, video footage shows Jefferson allegedly trying to cash the $7,754 check at the Anacortes Key Bank.

After viewing surveillance footage, deputies also found that Barnes cashed a check for $2,700 at the Anacortes Key Bank branch on Nov. 3, 2015. That same day, video shows Barnes allegedly cashing a check for $2,250 at Chase Bank in Bellingham.

The victim stated he does not know Jefferson or Barnes.

Tullock has been previously convicted of identity theft, trafficking in stolen property and theft in San Juan County. She also has controlled substance violations in San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish Counties. Jefferson’s record includes forgery in Snohomish County and s controlled substance violation in Skagit County. Barnes was previously convicted of intimidating a witness in San Juan County.