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Moravia woman gets felony identity theft conviction swapped for misdemeanor

Moravia woman gets felony identity theft conviction swapped for misdemeanor


AUBURN — A Moravia woman who served prison time for identity theft and felony marijuana possession was in Cayuga County Court Thursday.

Theresa Estebanez, 37, of 6470 Frazier Road, was on probation in October 2018 for her involvement in a meth lab when Probation Officer Nick Flanigan said a large quantity of marijuana and marijuana plants were found inside of her home.

Estebanez was also accused of defrauding an individual by using their Social Security number to obtain services totaling $3,827 from New York State Gas and Electric between July 2016 and June 2018.

She pleaded guilty Dec. 6, 2018 to first-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class C felony, and first-degree identity theft, a class D felony. She was then sentenced to two concurrent terms of incarceration, 2.5 years in prison for marijuana possession and two to four years in prison for identity theft, with a shock camp order.

Thursday, Estebanez returned to Cayuga County Court in an attempt to vacate her felony identity theft conviction and plead to the misdemeanor of third-degree identity theft — a deal offered by the Cayuga County District Attorney's Office if she cooperated with probation and paid restitution.

In his remarks to Judge Thomas Leone, Flanigan said Estebanez did cooperate with his department, attended Cayuga County Mental Health telehealth appointments and took her medications as prescribed. He had faith Estebanez will lead a "law abiding" life.

She has also been making monthly $190 restitution payments toward making NYSEG whole.

"I learned my lesson. I'm on the right track," Estebanez said.

Leone said she couldn't have asked "for a better advocate" in her defense attorney Charles Thomas, who has represented her since 2018. Factoring in time she served in prison and on post-release supervision, Leone also sentenced Estebanez Thursday to three years of probation for the misdemeanor.

Staff writer Mary Catalfamo can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or Find her on Twitter @mrycatalfamo.


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Crime/courts reporter

I cover criminal court, public safety and the Cayuga County government for The Citizen and You can also find my health and entertainment features online and in the Lake Life section of the paper.

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