SPD Arrests Prolific Identity Thief

Julie Humphreys, Public Safety Communication Manager, 509.625.5868

Friday, July 22, 2022 at 2:13 p.m.

SPD’s SPEAR Unit makes arrest of prolific identity thief

43-year-old Azariah Hulsey was arrested on 7-14-22 for charges relating to an extensive scheme of identity theft and the use of fraudulent checks. In total, Hulsey purchased over 30k in property from retail establishments using stolen or forged checks from a variety of individuals. Hulsey would use fraudulent IDs and other pieces of a victim’s identity to verify the checks authenticity.

SPD’s Stolen Property Enforcement and Recovery (SPEAR) unit began investigating after the pattern of criminal activity was discovered. A SPD SPEAR unit supervisor reviewed surveillance footage from one of the mercantile establishments which had been defrauded by Hulsey and immediately recognized him based on previous investigations.

The investigator began contacting various businesses, reviewing financial transactions, and combing through security camera footage which uncovered a spree of criminal activity. In a 9 week period Hulsey utilized 25 forged checks, in the names of four victims, at 18 different business locations. The total monetary loss exceeded thirty-thousand dollars.

Hulsey was arrested when he arrived at a local business to pick-up property previously purchased with a forged check. Hulsey was booked into the Spokane County Jail for 47 criminal charges including identity theft, forgery, theft, and criminal impersonation and remains in custody at the time of this writing. Hulsey is six-time convicted felon with a history of forgery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and theft.

The scheme was particularly sophisticated as Hulsey would obtain victims’ identities through a variety of means, and would then manufacture realistic looking IDs using the victim’s identifying information, and his (Hulsey’s) photograph. Attached are two of the IDs Hulsey manufactured and utilized which have different names and Hulsey’s photo. Also depicted are items recovered during the investigation including items purchased through the illicit process, and financial information.

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Julie Humphreys