Susan L. Hicks, arrested in early May of 2012 for forgery, embezzlement and grand theft, pled guilty to 287 counts of felony check forgery on Monday, June 24 at the Mono County Superior Court. Hicks was booked May 2 last year at the Mono County Jail, and subsequently charged with 291 counts.
On Monday, three of those counts were dismissed because of insufficient evidence, while a fourth will remain outstanding. “The defense and myself could not reach an agreement,” said Mono County Assistant District Attorney Todd Graham. “I still have the option of going to jury trial on that one count, if we so choose,” he said.
Graham could provide no further information on the details of the count, as it may be tried before a local jury.
Mammoth Lakes Police Department (MLPD) initiated an investigation into Hicks on May 1, 2012, when one victim reported a large sum of money missing from personal and corporate accounts managed by bookkeeper Susan L. Hicks. The subsequent MLPD investigation revealed that Hicks had at least 16 additional clients in Mammoth Lakes and the surrounding area.
Because each of the 287 counts to which Hicks pleaded guilty is a felony, Hicks’ maximum time in custody could be 98 years and 4 months, said Judge Mark Magit. She will serve her time in the Mono County Jail, acting as the local prison, and will be subject to post community supervision for up to 7 years after time served. According to Graham, Hicks will also pay approximately $382,805 in restitution from three different victims, in addition to statutory fees, state fines, and other assessments.
Pleading guilty, Hicks gave up the right to both a hearing and trial, although a hearing and trial may take place separately for count 291. The issue of Hicks’ sentencing now passes to the Mono County Probation Department, which will review the case, interviewing Hicks and the victims before writing a report including a punishment recommendation. The Judge will use this report to assist him in deciding what punishment to impose, said Graham.
Judge Magit set sentencing for Aug. 12 at 10 a.m., with a pre-hearing conference for count 291, if needed, on the same day.