Credit theft leads to jail

March 04, 2003 12:00 am

By AMY LINDBLOM

A Sonora woman who pleaded guilty to stealing credit card numbers from almost two dozen victims and using them to make purchases over the Internet was sentenced yesterday to six months in the Tuolumne County Jail.

Rita Floyd, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts of identity theft on Nov. 4 and was ordered to repay the victims almost $9,000 she stole.

Yesterday, Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge Eleanor Provost let Floyd make a stop at the Tuolumne County Office of Revenue Recovery to arrange to pay $1,609 in court fines before reporting to jail at 2:30 p.m.

Provost also ordered Floyd to return to court April 4 for a hearing regarding how Floyd plans to repay the victims.

Floyd's defense attorney, Michael Weisberg of Sonora, said he and his client plan to dispute some of the victims' claims, but declined to say which ones. Neither Floyd nor Weisberg would make a statement after the brief 15-minute sentencing hearing.

Sonora Police Detective Kelly Bressel, who investigated the thefts and tracked them back to Floyd, said Floyd bought gourmet meats, flowers, western wear, children's diapers and horse equipment over the Internet with credit cards that didn't belong to her.

Floyd obtained the credit card numbers while working at Round Table pizza parlor in The Junction shopping center. Bressel said Floyd would then come home and buy the personal items via the Internet and have them delivered to her Shaws Flat-area home.

In addition to the six-month jail sentence, Provost said Floyd would be on probation for five years.

In a separate case, the Tuolumne County District Attorney's office has filed a new charge of identity theft against her. In this case, she is accused of making almost $10,000 of purchases using credit cards she established in her former husband's name. Floyd is to be arraigned in the identity theft case March 12.

Bressel said Floyd and her ex-husband have been apart for about 20 years.