Snow and Avalanche Center Avalanche News - 2004


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Avalanche Institute


Fraudulent and Harassing Check Traced to Federal Employee
November 30, 2004
Updated August 1, 2005

Synopsis: A fraudulent and harassing check written online to the Avalanche Center was traced in a police report to ranger Glenn Kessler, formerly of the Mt Hood National Forest and currently of Mt Rainier National Park. He also offers avalanche classes on the Mt Hood National Forest under an exclusive permit using the business name Mountainsavvy. While this was the result of the investigation Mr Kessler is in a position of deniablilty, leaving accountability with the owner of the computer. The IP number was traced to Mr David Waag of Hood River who claims he was away and Mr Kessler was at his home.

On February 29, 2004 the CSAC Avalanche Center received an online check which was made out to a harassing name and was clearly fraudulent. An initial investigation by the CSAC revealed that the routing number on the check was that of US Bank but the account number was invalid. We also established that the transaction had been submitted by an IP number in a block owned by GorgeNet in Hood River, Oregon. Requests for any additional information were sent to both iTransact and GorgeNet but neither was able to provide anything.

All materials including the paper copy of the check, the transaction log with the IP number, and server logs for this number at that time were submitted to the investigations section of the police where our office is located; Corvallis, Oregon.

An investigation by the Corvallis Police department established the owner of the IP number, which is Mr David Waag of Hood River and publisher of Off-Piste. The investigation leads very clearly to Mr Glenn Kessler, who has been involved in other actions against the Avalanche Center. (In one of the most hostile actions a friend of his named Doug Ironside was involved and we have determined, after being tipped off, that Mr Ironside has been convicted of check fraud in the past.) Mr Kessler currently works for Mt Rainier National Park and formerly worked for the Mt Hood National Forest. He is also the owner of an avalanche safety school (Mountain Savvy) operating on an exclusive permit from the same ranger district which once employed him.

Mr Waag has claimed that Mr Kessler was staying at his residence at this time and had unrestricted access to the computer, and that he was not even at home. While Mr Kessler is clearly the primary suspect in the police investigation report he is in a position of deniability. Which means that despite the police investigation and the related criminal history of Mr Kesslers colleague Mr Ironside the accountability stops with Mr Waag. Unless somebody else takes responsibility.

At some point we will make available, online, a copy of the investigation report from Corvallis. As well as a copy of the related report on Mr Ironside from Bellingham. Due to the history behind this a criminal complaint may be filed, potentially for two felonies and three misdemeanors.

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