Sentencing postponed in Pacocha case
The sentencing for retired NewMil Bank executive Betty Pacocha on federal charges of stealing more than $720,000 from customers' certificate of deposit accounts from the New Milford bank has been postponed until Dec. 10 in the U.S. District Court in New Haven.
Ms. Pacocha, 75, admitted taking the money from CD accounts and converting them to her own use, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy. When the certificates came due, Ms. Pacocha admitted to replacing the missing money with funds she stole from other customers' accounts.
She has since repaid the money stolen between 1976 and her retirement in 2006 from her pension account, according to her attorney Eugene Riccio of Bridgeport.
At her sentencing, Ms. Pacocha faces a term of up to 30 years in prison and a $1.4 million fine. She had been scheduled to be sentenced late last week.
Mr. Riccio said Tuesday he asked for the postponement to allow more time to collect additional information he requires to present to Judge Mark Kravitz, who will be presiding over the case.
Federal court rules prohibit him from making any comment on what type of sentence he will seek on Ms. Pacocha's behalf, he said.
"It's a very unfortunate situation. However, Ms. Pacocha has made full restitution to the bank,'' Mr. Riccio said. He said he could not comment on whether that would make an impact on the sentence the Kent resident will receive.
Ms. Pacocha started working for NewMil Bank as a teller in 1961, advancing to branch manager and vice president before she was finally promoted to executive vice president.
Her position with the bank allowed her access to customers' CD accounts, Ms. Dannehy said.
During her tenure with the bank, Ms. Pacocha was well known in the New Milford community as she was involved with various civic organizations. News that she had pled guilty to the federal charges was met with shock from those who worked with her at the bank and in the community.
An attorney for the bank, T. Stevens Bliss, said in July he found this out of keeping with her character. He called her a "matriarch'' at the bank who treated everyone as family.
On Tuesday, Mr. Riccio said seeking a postponement to prepare for such a case is routine but expects the sentencing to go forward on the rescheduled date.
"We're preparing for that hearing,'' Mr. Riccio said.