The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 12, 2014

Deferred judgment in forgery case

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — A Clinton County district court judge granted a deferred judgement to a Clinton woman whao admitted to forging a check in another person’s name.

Defense attorney Sandra Trevino told Judge Stuart Werling on Thursday that her client, Phyllis R. Pickens, 23, does understand the consequences of her actions. She pleaded guilty March 7 to second-degree theft and forgery, both class D felonies.

“I just want to apologize because I know it wasn’t right,” Pickens said.

The defendant told the judge that her criminal actions cost her a job. A student at Ashford University, Pickens was withdrawn from the the university’s honor college due to the charges.

Pickens admitted on March 7 that she made out a check for $3,950 from victim George Hultgren’s account, signing his name on the stolen check. According to court documents, the money was deposited into the account of a co-conspirator on Aug. 10, 2012, through the Clinton National Bank ATM. Trevino told Werling that her client is no longer in contact with this individual.

Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Meyers accepted the recommendation of a deferred judgment from the pre-sentencing investigation report.

“She does have a bright future,” Meyers said.

Werling granted the deferred judgement for both of the charges and ordered her to serve two years probation. As class D felonies, each of the charges could have carried as much as five years in prison. Pickens also was ordered to pay a $70 civil penalty for each charge.

Charges of second-degree theft and forgery were dismissed.

Samantha Pidde can be contacted at samanthapidde@clintonherald.com.