MASSENA - Prosecutors have reduced a felony charge against a Massena woman charged with falsifying transactions when she was employed as an associate at the Sear's store in the St. Lawrence Centre mall.
Massena-based state police had charged Celena A. Gilman, 33, of 452 County Route 46, Lot 1, Massena, with a felony count of first-degree falsifying business records and petit larceny. Prosecutors made a motion reducing the felony charge to second-degree falsifying business records, and she is scheduled to next appear before Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow at 5 p.m. Aptil 25.
Troopers said Gilman had completed a return transaction on a pair of Levi jeans valued at $41.19. She reportedly removed the jeans from the sales floor because they were stained but then issued herself a gift card to herself for the cost of those Levis, She used that gift card to purchase merchandise later that same day. She followed a similar procedure when she filled out an allegedly false return for $47.79 on Feb. 12.
Gilman also allegedly completed a sales transaction for $21.39 when she was working on Jan. 21. After the customer left, Gilman reportedly voided the transaction and kept the $21.39 for her own use.
Gilman, in a statement she signed for troopers, admitted she had made false transactions while she was working at the store.
"My financials are killing me, and I know stealing is wrong. My kids needed things I could not buy," she pointed out in her statement.
In other recent court action before Judge Sharlow:
• Trey C. Smoke, 18, of 339 Wade Lafrance Road, Akwesasne, Que., was granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal with a stipulation he perform 10 hours of community service.
Smoke had been charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person less than 21 and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. He reportedly was in possession of a bottle of sugar flavored brandy as well as a bottle of Mr. Blackberry brandy at 5:35 a.m. May 29 in a vehicle in the St. Lawrence Plaza parking lot.
• Marcia E. Fuller, 25, of 19 County Route 45, Massena, was granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.
She had been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic needle following a traffic stop initiated by the U.S. Border Patrol on state Route 37 on Dec. 5, 2011. A syringe containing suboxone was reportedly found on Fuller following a body cavity search.