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Split verdict for Carbon woman

Published July 19. 2012 09:14AM

A Carbon County jury panel on Tuesday returned a split verdict in the trial of a Carbon County woman charged with theft, forgery and related counts.

Patricia E. Gadaleta, 52, of Pohopoco Drive, was found guilty of two of six counts. She was found guilty of forgery and identity theft. The panel found her not guilty of theft by deception, receiving stolen property, access device fraud, and a second count of identity theft.

She was charged by Trooper Nicolas A. De La Iglesia, of the Lehighton barracks, for incidents that occurred during a time frame from of January to July 2010.

De La Iglesia charged Gadaleta with opening a checking/saving account with the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union using the Social Security number of her sister, Elaine Bieniakowski, of Waterford, N.J., under the name E.L. Galletta.

She was accused of depositing three checks to the account in various amounts with all being returned for either being on closed accounts or other reasons. Prior to the return of the checks she made withdrawals from the account.

She also involved her ex-husband, Anthony Gadaleta, by attempting to have his paycheck deposited directly in the account.

Bieniakowski and Anthony Gadaleta were called as witnesses for Assistant District Attorney James M. Lavelle, who prosecuted the case. Also called was Marci Floyd, a fraud investigator for the credit union, and De La Iglesia. Gadaleta did not testify.

On Friday, May 11, Gadaleta was convicted of a jury following a two day trial, of theft, forgery and related counts involving the purchase of a car using her name but the Social Security and personal information of a Patricia A. Gadaleta of Florida. The victim was not related to the defendant.

Following the trial Gadaleta was returned to the custody of the sheriff. She is currently in prison on other pending charges and reportedly faces a revocation proceeding concerning a state sentence she served.

Judge Joseph J. Matika, who presided, deferred sentencing to a later date. Gadaleta still has three other cases pending in Carbon. Those cases stem from the purchase of dogs using an alleged alias name and not paying for them.

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