Camden Judge Elect Pleads Guilty To Theft By Deception and Violation of Oath of Office

56-year-old Camden judge-elect Shirley P. Wise pled guilty to felony charges of theft by taking, theft by deception and violating her oath of office. Under Georgia law, Probate Judge Martin Gillette was the victim on the theft-by-deception charge because she took fees for filing vital records between December 2008 and May 31, 2010, that should have gone to Gillette. But Gillette did not want Wise prosecuted and would not help in the prosecution. The violation of the oath of office stemmed from the criminal activity while she was Gillette’s assistant judge.

White collar fraud is the crime of deliberately deceiving another in order to cause damage, usually financial. Fraud is typically used to obtain property or services unjustly. It is often referred to as “theft by deception” or “larceny by trick.” Theft by deception is a form of fraudulent activity, with someone using deception in order to gain access to services or property. For example, if one writes a check and uses that check to pay for expenses on a bank account which is no longer open, one is committing theft by deception. The severity of the punishment may depend on how much damage is inflicted upon the victim. imagesgavel.jpg

Using deceptive information, the goal is for the thief to gain control of property or services from the victim. Theft by deception is different from an innocent mistake. For example, if one accidentally took fees for the wrong service and corrected the error as soon as it was realized, this would not be theft by deception. If, however, one realized the mistake and did nothing, this would be considered theft.

Theft by deception can involve an intricately planned scheme which requires, forging of documents participation from accomplices and conspirators, as well as other activities used to support the story being created by the deception. Some people are proficient at using the least amount of resources for the purpose of deception, reducing the risk that the perpetrator will be caught or harder to track down. Basically, the less loose ends the thief has to worry about, such as partners, the less likelihood of finding the partner and working out a plea agreement in order to nab the main actor in the scheme.

In many cases like these, the judge may or may not be open to the idea of probation, a much more favorable alternative to a prison sentence for what is typically a non-violent crime. In this case, the presiding Judge accepted a plea agreement, under which Wise will serve seven years on probation on the theft counts and five years’ probation on the violation of oath of office count, all to be served concurrently.

If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville theft crimes defense attorney, one will be able to ensure that one will have the best defense possible to the charge and advocate for one’s freedom. Get an experienced attorney who will work towards obtaining a favorable and cooperative recommendation from the State, so one can be free of a very powerful State-operated legal system.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Camden County Judge Violates Public Oath of Office, Florida Times Union