Northern Michigan woman accused of spending $12K+ with dead mother's credit card

A northern Michigan woman is accused of using her dead mother's credit card and trying to open more accounts in the mother's name.

In April, a man reported that his mother had recently died, and his sister, Sarah-Lea Marie Helsel, of South Boardman, was using her credit card.

Police said 34-year-old Helsel spent more than $12,000 with the card, and applied for more cards with her mother's identity.

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Investigators searched her home and seized evidence. Helsel turned herself in to the Kalkaska County Jail on Wednesday after an arrest warrant was authorized last month.

She is charged with one count identity theft, one count false statement of identity for financial transaction device, one count stealing/retain financial transactions device without consent, and one count false pretenses over $999 but less than $20,000. Her bond was set at $10,000 10% cash surety.