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SIOUX CITY -- A second worker at a downtown Sioux City hotel has been charged with making more than $32,000 in fraudulent credit card transactions on hotel guests' credit cards.

Sandra Lalumendre, 35, of Sioux City, turned herself in to police Tuesday and was booked into the Woodbury County Jail on charges of first-degree theft, unauthorized use of a credit card and conspiracy to commit a nonforcible felony.

According to court documents, from May 14 to Sept. 8, Lalumendre and Ethan Ehlers, who worked at the front desk of the Howard Johnson hotel, 707 Fourth St., fraudulently overcharged guests' credit cards. Once a guest's card had been charged, either Lalumendre or Ehlers would force a refund through the hotel's computer system onto a personal credit card. An investigation discovered that the fraudulent charges and refunds totaled $32,703. The two split the money, court documents said.

Evidence, such as credit card dispute forms mailed to the hotel, were shredded in order to hide their actions, which were discovered and reported by a co-worker, court documents said.

Ehlers, 19, of Sioux City, was arrested in December and has pleaded not guilty to first-degree theft and credit card fraud.

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