A former paralegal with the Pima County Attorney’s Office pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery with intent to defraud Monday in Pima County Superior Court.
Brenda Pinckney could be placed on probation by Judge Michael Miller next month or she could receive a prison term of between 1 1/2 and 7 1/2 years.
Pinckney, who worked for 12 years at the Pima County Attorney’s Office, was indicted Jan. 5 on charges alleging she stole more than $4,000 from the office - money intended to reimburse crime victims and witnesses for travel to Pima County Superior Court and per diem costs.
She faced 19 felony charges including fraud, theft, forgery and aggravated taking the identity of another person.
As part of her job, Pinckney, 36, was responsible for obtaining funds from petty cash and giving them to the witnesses.
Pinckney was accused of submitting reimbursement requests for nonexistent addresses and for court events that didn't happen, according to a letter notifying Pinckney of her impending termination. She was also accused of not returning the required receipts or forging the signatures of victims and witnesses on the receipts she did return.
Some of the receipts were for travel from as far as San Jose, Calif.; Hermosillo, Sonora; and Page.
On Monday, Pinckney admitted submitting false reimbursement forms for travel to and from Yuma and Flagstaff for more than $442.
Under the terms of her plea agreement, Pinckney could be required to reimburse the county up to $4,800.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at email@example.com or 573-4241.