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Woman pleads guilty to identity fraud counts

October 20, 2012

LISBON - Gina Amato, a Wellsville-area woman for most of her life, pleaded to two counts of identity fraud Thursday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

Amato, 45, Fair Street, Salem, pleaded to prosecutor's information on the two counts presented by Assistant Prosecutor Tammie Riley Jones rather than have the charges presented to the grand jury.

Jones discussed the possibility of Amato serving a six-month term at the Eastern Ohio Correctional Center, but also mentioned possibly asking for a 15-month prison term. A presentencing investigation will occur prior to sentencing, which has been scheduled for Nov. 30.

The maximum sentence for the two charges could be four and a half years.

Amato pleaded to the charges, which contended she used the personal information of family members to open accounts and run up bills over the past two years. Jones said one charge stated between September 2010 and July 2012, Amato used the identity of Charles F. Amato and Irma Amato for nearly $7,500 in credit cards and utility services. The second charge was for signing up for cable service using the name Christian Kapp and running up a $1,000 bill.

Utilizing public defenders Fred Naragon and Connie Witt, Amato agreed to plead before Judge C. Ashley Pike. However, she seemed concerned about the long period of time between now and Nov. 30. She indicated she was concerned about her father's health and had hoped to see him soon.

Additionally, Amato has a Nov. 14 jury trial scheduled in county Municipal Court on misdemeanor charges of theft and criminal trespassing.



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