JEFFERSON-A former employee of a well-known West Jefferson attorney pleaded guilty Thursday in Ashe County Superior Court to using the firm’s credit card to make a total of $114,243 in fraudulent purchases.
As part of a plea arrangement, Pamela Michelle Roark, 33, will avoid jail time as long as she pays the victim’s restitution in full. Originally, Roark faced a total of 22 charges of obtaining property by false pretenses.
Her charges were consolidated into five counts that each carried a sentence of six to 17 months in the N.C. Department of Corrections. That sentence was suspended for 60 months of supervised probation for each count handed down by the circuit court judge.
Roark also wrote a check for $5,000 to the clerk of court’s office Thursday afternoon.
According to courtroom testimony, Roark used the credit card of attorney Andrew Jackson to make several personal purchases from Jan. 10, 2012 to Oct. 31, 2013. The prosecution stated that instead of making extravagent purchases, such as a house or boat, she instead used the credit cart at several area restaurants and businesses.
Roark wrote a letter of apology to Jackson, but did not make a statement before the court.
Her attorney said that Roark’s family was recently in dire financial straits – they have been forced to take out several mortgages on their house – in the process of raising three children, said her attorney.
Since her arrest, she has found work as an appointment scheduler at a local doctor’s office.
As part of the terms of her probation, Roark is prohibited from being in a future position that would require her to handle money.
The Jefferson Post will include decisions from the rest of this week’s superior court slate when they become available.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-489-3058.