Woman pleads guilty in craigslist sex scam

She and a partner, who pleaded guilty last month, used stolen identification to forge checks for prescription drugs.

The second of two defendants has pleaded guilty in federal court to advertising for sex partners on craigslist so they could pick the pockets of those who responded. Then they allegedly used stolen identification, checks or bank records to buy merchandise and prescription painkillers.

Amy Ruth Bergquist, 30, of Eagan, pleaded guilty in St. Paul to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to unlawfully use at least five identification documents that were not issued to her, as well as one count of aggravated identity theft. She entered her plea Oct. 8 in St. Paul before U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson.

Bergquist's parner in the scheme, Eric Christopher Thorsen, 25, of Eagan, pleaded guilty Sept. 16 to one count of conspiracy and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to their plea agreements, both Bergquist, a licensed practical nurse, and Thorsen, who is unemployed, admitted that they illegally had the identification and intended to use them unlawfully. Thorsen additionally admitted to stealing mail from other people's mailboxes, and also stealing identification to buy merchandise. He also used the documents to steal money from other people's bank accounts. Bergquist admitted to helping Thorsen.

Both also admitted that their scheme involved defrauding banks of between $30,000 and $120,000.

The couple's scheme involved placing craigslist personal ads seeking to meet other adults to engage in sexual acts. The couple would then meet people who responded in either hotel rooms or private homes. While Thorsen and Bergquist were inside one of the locations they would steal identification from the victims.

According to an April indictment, Thorsen and Bergquist continued to meet people through craigslist and steal their identification as recently as March 9. The indictment identifies six victims by their initials. Four are adult males, and two are adult females.

The indictment says Thorsen paid for two forged prescriptions for Adderall and Dexedrine using a counterfeit check in the name of one of his victims.

The federal case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Secret Service, the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force and the Roseville Police Department, with help from other local law enforcement agencies.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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