Crime

Cassandra Ghirardi & Alexandra Wilde allegedly form mother/daughter identity theft ring

Moms teach their little girls all kinds of valuable lessons, and Cassandra Ghirardi is no exception.

Problem is, Ghirardi's tutorials allegedly involved identity theft, which, while profitable, carries the strong possibility of jail time for her and Alexandra Wilde, her daughter.

Between October 2010 and this past March, the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office says, Ghirardi, 45, stole mail from mailboxes, then used the personal and financial information she found in the purloined letters and packages to create fraudulent checks and IDs. On occasion, she used the actual names of the people involved; other times, she made them up.

Armed with these tools of the identity-theft trade, Ghirardi and Wilde, 27, allegedly spent and spent and spent, at places like King Soopers, Home Deport, Old Navy, Saks and, inevitably, Walmart. The pair may have used some of these purchases themselves. But for the most part, Jeffco authorities believe they transformed them into cash using eBay as a de facto fencing service.

Among the most unusual goods dispensed with in this manner: postage stamps. About $30,000 worth of them.

Overall, Ghirardi and Wilde accounted for approximately $60,000 in losses for individuals and businesses, according to a 64-count indictment issued in their names. But while Wilde was recently arrested (and released on a $5,000 bond in advance of an October 31 court date), her mom's still at large. She's believed to be somewhere in California, which, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is a mighty big place.

Apparently, Ghiardi hadn't gotten around to teaching Wilde the best ways to avoid being busted.

Look below to see Wilde's booking photo.

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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Josh Beckius was sentenced to prison at sixteen -- but sixteen years later, he has a second chance."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts