Probation Officer Pleads Guilty to Check Forging Scheme

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced former Maricopa County Probation Officer Mary Ellen Beck pleaded guilty to a fraudulent check forging scheme that targeted people who were on probation. At least 39 probationers were victimized with a total loss of $18,000.

The State Grand Jury indicted Beck in December 2015, following an investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. That investigation found between August 2012 and May 2015, Beck received money orders from probationers intended for payment to the Clerk of the Court and instead deposited that money into her personal bank account. Beck received these money orders from individuals on probation and in many cases instructed the probationers to leave the money orders blank. A total of 95 money orders were traced to Beck’s personal bank account.

Beck pleaded guilty to one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices and two counts of Forgery on October 3, 2016.

Beck will be sentenced on November 9, 2016 to three years in the Arizona Department of Corrections followed by a term of probation. She will also be required to forfeit all of the State’s contributions to her retirement plan and to pay full restitution to the victims.  

Assistant Attorneys General Andy Kvesic and Maura Quigley prosecuted this case.