Legal secretary sentenced to federal prison for bank fraud, identity theft

 

A legal secretary who stole $155,660 from her employer through bank fraud and identity theft received a federal prison sentence of nearly seven years Tuesday.

Pamela Garrison deserved no less than the maximum sentence for her third conviction for stealing, said U.S. District Court Senior Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr.

Larry Broyles, a lawyer, was a friend who gave Garrison a chance by hiring her after her earlier convictions in McDuffie County, according to his statement read to the judge Tuesday.

After an audit showed no trouble with his accounts, Broyles made Garrison his permanent legal secretary.

She repeatedly forged his signature and used the identities of others to steal money from 2005 to Aug. 31, 2011, according to the indictment.

Garrison’s attorney asked the judge for a sentence of less than five years, but Assis­tant U.S. Attorney Patricia Rhodes sought the maximum.

She said that since 1999, Garrison has stolen money from nearly every employer – two lawyers in Thomson, a school and Broyles.

“The public needs protecting from her,” Rhodes said.

Garrison’s sentence will not begin until she completes a state prison sentence for violating her probation next year. Federal sentences are served without parole.

Bowen ordered Garrison, who also has a civil judgment against her for the money she stole, to pay restitution.

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