Amato Pleads Guilty To Theft From PTA

Jamie Amato pleaded guilty to one (1) count of Theft By Deception yesterday, in front of Judge Scott Moynihan, in connection with funds she stole from the Robert Gordon PTA in her capacity as its treasurer. The two other charges of Forgery and Uttering were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Originally scheduled to appear before Judge Triarsi, Ms. Amato’s case, as well as a majority of other cases before the judge, were assigned to Judge Moynihan in the Courthouse Annex building.

Standing alongside her attorney, Thomas M. Murphy, Ms. Amato stood as Judge Moynihan asked her questions regarding the plea agreement she signed and agreed to in order to satisfy the court that the agreement was made willingly and without any impediment. The judge then explained that Ms. Amato would be receiving a probationary sentence where she would receive 90 days in County Jail unless she made restitution and paid back the stolen funds by the date of sentencing. If Ms. Amato violates her probation, she would face up to five years in prison and a maximum penalty of $15,000.

The only outstanding issue before the court is the amount of restitution. Assistant Prosecutor Shawn P. Barnes contended that the amount of restitution was $8,629 while her attorney claimed the amount to be $6,200. Mr. Murphy stated to the court that he will discuss the matter with the prosecutor’s office and provide proof in order to make an application for that amount. He said that in any event the outside limit would be $8,600. Judge Moynihan asked both parties to work the amount out in advance of the sentencing date.

Ms. Amato then answered questions posed to her by her attorney, Mr. Murphy, in order to satisfy the factual basis of the case – there is no requirement to disclose motive.

Judge Moynihan asked Jamie Amato with regard to the stolen funds, “Was it your intention to keep that money?”

Ms. Amato responded after a brief pause, “Yes.”

With that, the State and the court were satisfied with the factual basis of the plea agreement. Ms. Amato’s sentencing date is scheduled for July 13, 2012 in front of Judge Moynihan. There is a pre-sentencing interview on May 1st.

[Photo credits: Defense attorney Thomas Murphy (left), defendant Jamie Amato (center), and Assistant Prosecutor Shawn P. Barnes (right)]