This Hamilton woman was convicted of theft 10 years ago. Now she’s going to prison for another crime.

A Hamilton wife and mother who was convicted 10 years ago of theft has been sent to prison for another financial crime.

Michelle Gabbard, 41, pleaded guilty in July of identity fraud and misusing credit cards for making more than $10,000 in purchases using a credit card opened in another person’s name. She was sentenced to prison last month for 54 months.

Gabbard, the wife of a Hamilton firefighter who nearly died in a training accident in 2007, received a 180-day jail sentence in 2008 for stealing more than $30,000 from Chaco Credit Union. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Craig Hedric also placed Gabbard on probation for five years, and she was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

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In 2008, Gabbard was a former loan officer at credit union’s downtown Hamilton location when she was arrested for the fourth-degree felony. Over a two-year period, Gabbard embezzled the money from the credit union, but she did make restitution, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Ten years later, Gabbard was indicted again, this time for three felony charges involving friends.

The May indictment for identity fraud, theft by deception and misuse of credit card states Gabbard “from her personal email applied via the internet for an American Express Card using the name, date of birth, address and Social Security number of Andrew T. Pfirman … on or about June 6, 2017.”

According to court records, Gabbard used Pfirman’s bank account to make payment on the credit card for $3,186.29 on Oct. 30, 2017. During a three-month period, she used the credit card for personal expenses totaling $10,861.13, according to records.

Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Gloria Sigman, who prosecuted the most recent case, said Gabbard befriended the Pfirmam family and was able to gain access to mail and banking information.

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After Gabbard pleaded guilty to two of the three felony charges, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah Powers II sentenced her to more than four years prison on Sept. 25. Her attorney, Ken Crehan, family and friends spoke on her behalf at the hearing.

The mother of two suffers from arthritis and Lupus as well as depression and post traumatic stress, “from her husband, Chris, basically dying and being resuscitated,” Crehan told the judge.

Chris Gabbard said “ever since my accident, she has been our rock.”

His wife was receiving therapy and “she has changed 180 degrees,” the firefighter told the judge.

Gabbard offered an apology to the Pfirman family stating was “ashamed.”

“I never meant to hurt anybody, they are both wonderful people,” Gabbard said. “I feel so terrible about it.”

But Pfirman had little sympathy. He said his family has gone through difficult medical issues and he didn’t steal credit cards.

“This was calculated, she planned it out and she has done it before,” Pfirman said. “She is sorry she got caught.”

After handing down the prison sentence Powers told Gabbard, despite she made restitution to the victim, “I need to see more.”

The judge said there may be an opportunity that Gabbard could be granted some type of judicial release and placed community control depending you her behavior in prison.

“That is not a promise, I need to see something personal from you,” Powers said.

Gabbard’s attorney asked for a stay on the sentence to allow her to get her life in order. It was not granted by the judge. She left the courtroom in handcuffs.

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