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Woman enters plea to attempted theft scheme
(Central booking, HANDOUT)

A Sykesville woman who used her mother's credit card and other accounts without authorization entered a plea agreement with the state Monday and received a suspended sentence.

Joy Elizabeth Becker, 26, of the 400 block of Ross Avenue, pleaded not guilty but agreed not to challenge the state's version of the facts to a misdemeanor count of attempted theft scheme less than $1,000.

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Judge Fred S. Hecker sentenced Becker to 18 months and suspended the term, placing her on 18 months of supervised probation; Becker also was ordered her to pay $500 restitution to the victim.

On June 13, 2013, Carroll County sheriff's deputies met with the victim, Becker's mother, who reported she noticed problems in her financial records, according to a statement of facts read into the record by Assistant State's Attorney Jeremy Henderson.

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The victim told deputies she noticed charges to online retailers, a credit card payment and an electronic bill payment which she did not authorize, according to Henderson.

She also said money had been removed from a joint bank account she held with Becker, and loan and credit card applications were opened, according to Henderson.

The judge said: "It's hard to imagine a greater breach of anyone's trust than to steal from your mother."

Public defender Lee McNulty said his client claims she had permission to use the accounts, but he believes the prosecutor could prove the attempted theft scheme charge at trial.

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McNulty requested a suspended sentence and the possibility that Becker could request a modification to probation before judgment if she completes probation successfully.

McNulty said at the time of the incident Becker was going through a separation and dealing with custody issues.

Hecker ordered Becker to submit to a drug and alcohol evaluation and complete any recommended treatment as a condition of her probation because of allegations that her actions stemmed from possible substance abuse.

"I'm not convinced that you have addressed the underlying issue," the judge said.

Reach staff writer Heather Cobun at 410-857-7898 or email heather.cobun@carrollcountytimes.com.

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