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Zeller receives 7 years in prison

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CANTON - The Norfolk woman found guilty in April of scamming a Potsdam woman out of more than $3,000 was sentenced to prison for a max of 7 years on two counts of third-degree grand larceny Monday in St. Lawrence County Court.

Bobbie Jo Zeller, 37, of 72 W. Main St., was found guilty on April 8, following a four day trial, of using false pretenses to steal money from Gloria J. Dietze. From August 2011 to September 2012 Ms. Zeller told Ms. Dietze and her brother, Robert W. Dietze, that she needed the money to care for her ill son.

Ms. Zeller was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison, as a second felony offender.

Ms. Zeller’s attorney, Brian D. Pilatzke, said she had expressed to him remorse for her actions. He requested that County Judge Jerome J. Richards consider that and sentence her to the minimum of 2 to 4 years in prison.

Former St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole Duve, who tried the case as a special prosecutor, is also preparing to prosecute Ms. Zeller in a separate trial for charges of two counts of second-degree grand larceny, two counts of third-degree grand larceny and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud.

The charges stem from allegations that Ms. Zeller used false pretenses to steal more than $300,000 from the late Rev. Monsignor Robert L. Lawler, St. Mary’s Catholic Church parishioner June H. McQueeney, of Waddington, and others from fall 2010 to January 2013.

That trial is pending Ms. Duve’s appeal of Judge Richards’s Sept. 24 dismissal of three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument that were brought against Ms. Zeller based on a lack of legally sufficient evidence.

Oral arguments are expected to be heard in that appeal sometime in October or November, Mr. Pilatzke said.

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