Watson pleads guilty to ID theft

Published 10:55 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

The former director of a local children’s advocacy program pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree identity theft and could be ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution, according to court documents.

Ramona Watson, 57, of Troy, was arrested July 14, 2011, for two felony charges of identity theft stemming from the illegal use of credit cards. In one case Watson opened a line of credit with Chase Visa issued in the name of the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center and a center employee. Police found she racked up more than $19,500 on the card.

On Oct. 14, 2011, Watson was charged with two additional counts of felony identity theft unrelated to her position at the advocacy center. The second set of charges involved credit card abuse and personal business transactions, according to police.

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Watson had already resigned from her position at the CAC on May 13, 2011 before any charges were brought against her.

On March 5, Watson was sentenced to one year in a residential drug treatment facility and three years probation, court documents revealed. She must also make at $50 contribution to the Alabama Crime Victim Compensation Commission.

At the time of her sentencing, no immediate restitution was ordered. However, on March 29, the State filed a motion for restitution in the amount of $203,463.71, according to court documents.

Watson will have 20 days to appeal that order, or it will be assessed to her.