Ex-theft con­vict sen­tenced again

Woman gets 54 months in credit card scam, 10 years af­ter theft term.

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL & STATE - By Lau­ren Pack Staff Writer

A Hamil­ton wife HAMIL­TON — and mother who was con­victed 10 years ago of theft has been sent to prison for an­other fi­nan­cial crime.

Michelle Gab­bard, 41, pleaded guilty in July to iden­tity fraud and mis­us­ing credit cards for mak­ing more than $10,000 in pur­chases us­ing a credit card opened in an­other per­son’s name. She was sen­tenced to prison last month for 54 months.

Gab­bard, the wife of a Hamil­ton fire­fighter who nearly died in a train­ing ac­ci­dent in 2007, re­ceived a 180-day jail sen­tence in 2008 for steal­ing more than $30,000 from Chaco Credit Union. But­ler County Com­mon Pleas Judge Craig Hedric also placed Gab­bard on pro­ba­tion for five years, and she was or­dered to per­form 200 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

In 2008, Gab­bard was a for­mer loan of­fi­cer at the credit union’s down­town Hamil­ton lo­ca­tion when she was ar­rested for the fourth-de­gree felony. Over a twoyear pe­riod, Gab­bard em­bez­zled the money from the credit union, but she did make resti­tu­tion, ac­cord­ing to the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice.

Ten years later, Gab­bard was in­dicted again, this time for three felony charges in­volv­ing friends.

The May in­dict­ment for iden­tity fraud, theft by de­cep­tion and mis­use of credit card states Gab­bard “from her per­sonal email ap­plied via the in­ter­net for an Amer­i­can Ex­press Card us­ing the name, date of birth, ad­dress and so­cial se­cu­rity num­ber of An­drew T. Pfir­man ... on or about June 6, 2017.”

Ac­cord­ing to court records, Gab­bard used Pfir­man’s bank ac­count to make pay­ment on the credit card for $3,186.29 on Oct. 30, 2017. Dur­ing a three-month pe­riod, she used the credit card for per­sonal ex­penses to­tal­ing $10,861.13, ac­cord­ing to records.

As­sis­tant But­ler County Pros­e­cu­tor Glo­ria Sig­man, who pros­e­cuted the most re­cent case, said Gab­bard be­friended the Pfir­mam fam­ily and was able to gain ac­cess to mail and bank­ing in­for­ma­tion.

Af­ter Gab­bard pleaded guilty to two of the three felony charges, But­ler County Com­mon Pleas Judge Noah Pow­ers II sen­tenced her to more than four years in prison Sept. 25. Her at­tor­ney, Ken Cre­han, fam­ily and friends spoke on her be­half at the hear­ing.

The mother of two suf­fers from arthri­tis and lu­pus as well as de­pres­sion and post-trau­matic stress “from her hus­band, Chris, ba­si­cally dy­ing and be­ing re­sus­ci­tated,” Cre­han told the judge.

Chris Gab­bard said “ever since my ac­ci­dent, she has been our rock.”

“I never meant to hurt any­body, they are both won­der­ful peo­ple,” Michelle Gab­bard said. “I feel so ter­ri­ble about it.”

But Pfir­man had lit­tle sym­pa­thy. He said his fam­ily has gone through dif­fi­cult med­i­cal is­sues and he didn’t steal credit cards.

“This was cal­cu­lated, she planned it out and she has done it be­fore,” Pfir­man said. “She is sorry she got caught.”

The judge said it’s pos­si­ble Gab­bard could be granted some type of ju­di­cial re­lease and placed on com­mu­nity con­trol de­pend­ing on prison be­hav­ior.

“That is not a prom­ise. I need to see some­thing per­sonal from you,” Pow­ers said. Con­tact this re­porter at 513-7052841 or email Lau­ren.Pack@cox­inc. com.

‘Our sales were cer­tainly up in Au­gust and Septem­ber. Although they’ve been up all year, I do think the Le­vitt has helped.’

Diane Spitzig

LAU­REN PACK / STAFF

Michelle Gab­bard was sen­tenced last month to 54 months in prison on charges of iden­tity fraud and mis­us­ing credit cards. She was con­victed in 2008 of steal­ing from a credit union.

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