A Franklin Township woman was found guilty by a Carbon County jury on Friday, May 11, of theft, forgery and related counts following a two day trial.
Patricia E. Gadaleta, 52, of 974 Pohopoco Drive, Lehighton, was found guilty of identity theft, theft by unlawful taking-movable property, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and two counts of forgery.
She was charged by Franklin Township police with purchasing a 2005 Buick car using the name of Patricia A. Gadaleta, who is a resident of Florida, and forgering her name and using a stolen Social Security number.
Through the course of the investigation police learned that the defendant changed the name of title by making the middle initial a "E" rather than an "A".
The case developed when Patricia A. Gadaleta of Florida attempted to get a loan to purchase a car and she was told there was an outstanding loan in her name for a vehicle purchase.
She then contacted township police chief Thomas Beltz when told by the lender the address provided on the loan was in the township.
Beltz learned that the defendant applied for an application for a duplicate title from the Department of Transportation and under the owner name she changed the middle initial.
The jury deliberated for an hour before finding her guilty. Presiding Judge Joseph J. Matika deferred sentencing.
Gadaleta still has other criminal charges pending against her stemming from the purchase of dogs using an alleged alias name and not paying for them.
Assistant District Attorney James M. Lavelle prosecuted the case. Gadaleta was represented by court-appointed Attorney Michael P. Gough.
After the trial Gadalet was returned to the custody of the sheriff's department. She is in prison failing to post bail on some of the charges.