Vancouver woman back in court in crime ring case

Her brother faces multiple charges for being its alleged leader

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver woman on Tuesday appeared in Clark County Superior Court for a second time on accusations that she was involved in an organized crime ring allegedly operated by her brother.

Amanda K. Engh, 33, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to money laundering and being an accomplice to first-degree trafficking in stolen property. Judge Scott Collier ordered that she remain out of custody on supervised release until her Feb. 10 trial.

She was initially arrested Aug. 1 on the allegations. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, however, declined to charge her because they didn’t have enough evidence at that time.

When she made her first court appearance Aug. 2, her brother, Fred J. Engh, was missing. He allegedly jumped his $100,000 bail sometime after a May 30 court appearance, where he pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges, including leading organized crime, money laundering and theft.

The U.S. Marshals Service, with help from Mexican authorities, arrested Engh earlier this month in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

The alleged crime ring involved a network of shoplifters who stole merchandise and then returned it for store credit on a gift card. The “boosters” then allegedly sold the gift cards to Fred Engh for 40 to 75 percent of their value, and Engh resold the gift cards online. He is charged with more than 50 crimes committed over more than three years.

Prosecutors allege Amanda Engh opened at least one bank account and used it to help her brother hide and divide profits from the sham business. She’s also accused of buying, selling and receiving the fraudulently obtained gift cards.