A state judge Friday suggested that Sandra Zee “try to have a chipper attitude” the next time she sees her probation officer.
She’ll being seeing a lot of the officer for the next five years.
State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller sentenced the 48-year-old Amherst woman to five years’ probation for stealing from two people in her role as a real estate agent and also using another woman’s credit card information without permission.
In all, she admitted stealing a total of $30,000.
Zee had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree grand larceny and an identity-theft charge.
The probation officer who prepared Zee’s presentencing report apparently did not care for her attitude during a recent meeting.
“I had bills to pay,” Zee told the officer, seeking to explain her crimes, according to a portion of the report that Boller read aloud in court.
Assistant District Attorney Gary M. Ertel also expressed concern that Zee failed to acknowledge criminal liability on one of the grand larceny counts during her meeting with the probation officer.
“She acknowledges her guilt here in the courtroom,” said defense lawyer Jeffrey F. Voelkl.
In future meetings with probation officers, “just cooperate,” Boller instructed her.
The thefts occurred between January 2009 and April 2010, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.
Zee purchased services with the credit card information. Zee also admitted to a scam in which she defrauded real estate investors, District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III has said.
She had faced up to 18 years in prison for the three convictions.
Voelkl said Zee gave him two bank checks totaling nearly $11,000 for restitution. She also turned over money for restitution when she pleaded guilty in July.
Boller said he imposed probation rather than sentence her to prison because she made restitution and did not have a prior criminal record.