Two Texas women charged in connection with the spear phishing scam that bilked the City of Ocala out of more than $700,000 pleaded guilty this week to fraud charges.
On Thursday, the court was told that co-defendant Andrea Louise Miller could have received 30 years in prison and been fined $10,000 for organized fraud.
A plea agreement worked out between Miller’s lawyer, Jacques Ward, and the State Attorney’s Office called for Miller to plead guilty to a reduced charge (grand theft over $20,000) and serve 415 days behind bars.
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Miller has 415 days of credit for time already served, and thus was scheduled for release Thursday.
Miller also must serve three years of probation, pay fines, court costs and restitution, submit a DNA sample, and complete 120 hours of community service.
For the restitution, Miller must repay the city nearly $24,500. This must be accomplished during her probation.
Miller, 54, of Austin, Texas, wanted adjudication withheld, which would mean she would not have a conviction. The state declined to make that request part of the deal.
Circuit Judge Lisa Herndon told Miller that if she entered an open plea – with no state agreement in place – the court might or might not withhold adjudication. Miller told the judge she wanted to go ahead with the plea deal.