Last updated: October 29. 2013 11:38PM - 2270 Views
By - rdupuis@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6113

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WILKES-BARRE — Defense attorneys for a mother and daughter accused of stealing bingo proceeds have successfully gotten their trial rescheduled for a seventh time.

According to court documents, Luzerne County Judge Lesa Gelb has set a Feb. 24 trial date for Catherine Drago, 82, and Carol Gamble, 51.

Drago, of Forty Fort, and Gamble, of West Pittston, were charged in December 2008 with taking more than $700,000 collected during bingo games hosted by Swoyersville Volunteer Hose Co. No. 1 between January 2004 and September 2006, according to court papers.

In June, an attorney for Drago said he needed more time to look over bingo returns to give to an expert expected to testify at the trial. Gelb rescheduled the July 29 trial to begin on Monday, nearly three months later.

On Monday, Gelb granted another continuance.

Documents reveal the women were charged after an investigation that began in 2005 with the state Bureau of Charitable Organizations.

Drago served as the hose company’s treasurer, while her daughter was president. Investigators say they took control of collecting and depositing money generated at bingo games that were held as fundraisers.

Continuations have delayed the trial for two years, including a rescheduling in March after Drago had a heart attack.

WILKES-BARRE — A city woman arrested earlier this year in connection with an alleged credit card theft scheme pleaded guilty Tuesday in Luzerne County Court.

Sabrina Rivera, 48, admitted to two counts each of identity theft and access device fraud before Judge David W. Lupas.

Rivera’s husband, Farouk Rivera, 45, was charged with two counts each of identity theft and access device fraud in connection with the same case, and was supposed to be tried jointly with his wife.

The pair were accused in the theft of credit card numbers from customers of Lord & Taylor, whose distribution center and call center is based in Wilkes-Barre Township.

Investigators said Sabrina Rivera, while employed in the customer service department, accepted orders from customers and stole credit card numbers for several months. Her husband allegedly admitted to Lord & Taylor officials that he stole credit card numbers from an estimated 71 customers out of 667 orders processed by his wife.

The status of Farouk Rivera’s case could not immediately be verified later Tuesday.

Sabrina Rivera is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 20.

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