Charges upped in embezzlement case
June 11, 2008
Two Routt County women charged with stealing more than $1.2 million from Alpine Bank accountholders are facing additional felonies and one of the accused plans to take her case to trial.
Pamela Jean Williams and Terri Dawn Moody Fatka were arrested in February. They were charged with two felony counts of theft of more than $20,000 and two felony counts of forgery. With additional charges filed May 27, Fatka is facing five counts each of felony theft and forgery. Williams is facing four counts of each charge. Each pair of charges represents theft from a different accountholder.
The women, whose cases are being tried separately, each appeared Tuesday in Routt County District Court, where their cases were continued to 9:30 a.m. June 23.
Charles Feldmann, who represents Williams, said Tuesday that he plans to take her case to trial. Feldmann was previously optimistic that the District Attorney’s Office would be offering a plea agreement.
“I intend to enter not guilty pleas on my client’s behalf,” Feldmann said. “We intend to take our case to the jury and let the people decide what happened and what didn’t happen.”
Fatka’s attorney, Erick Knaus, requested a brief continuance Tuesday to allow for more discovery, which is expected in the next few days and could impact how he and his client choose to continue with the case, he said.
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Former Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James, who is prosecuting both cases, had no objections. St. James officially left his post at the District Attorney’s Office on May 30, though he is continuing to work with the 14th Judicial District on certain cases.
Williams’ case was continued, as well, while controversy over a subpoena requesting documents from Alpine Bank is resolved. Feldmann has requested the defendants’ full personnel records, as well as documents pertaining to all theft and lost or missing currency investigations during the years Williams and Fatka were employed by Alpine Bank.
Judge Shelley Hill will rule on the matter in the coming weeks, after Alpine Bank files its response. St. James and Alpine Bank have contested the validity of the subpoena, on the grounds that instead of being served directly to the bank’s president, it was served to his secretary.
“How many other instances has this bank had when money has just walked out the door?” Feldmann said. “I can’t defend my client against these allegations without all this evidence that’s relevant and necessary.”
Feldmann said he will have the subpoena re-served if the court asks but speculated the issue lies with the documents he has requested, not the procedure.