Charge Dropped Against Nevadan Who Gambles Away Customer's Money

A felony theft charge has been dismissed against a Gardnerville woman who admitted gambling away 15-thousand dollars from the bank account of a 78-year-old customer.

48-year-old Janet Turner was a clerk at a Bank of America branch in Gardnerville when two unauthorized withdrawals were made from a
recently-widowed customer's account in April 2006.

At a hearing Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Michael McCormick said Turner deserved to be sentenced and face "some kind of negative effect" for the crime.

But Douglas County District Judge Dave Gamble says it was consistent for him to dismiss the charge because Turner had gone beyond what was expected of her by making full restitution and seeking help for her addiction.

Also in Gamble's courtroom, a 61-year-old Wellington woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to a theft charge, admitting she took 177-thousand dollars while she worked at Campora Propane Company.

Michele Baligad reportedly told investigators she took the money to finance a gambling addiction.

She awaits a January 29th sentencing date.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)