OSSIPEE — A man who pleaded guilty in Carroll County Superior Court on June 25 to fraudulent use of a credit card apologized to his victims and even thanked the judge and the prosecutor.
Robert Amaral, 45, formerly of Tamworth, pleaded guilty to five charges as part of a plea deal that had 19 other charges dropped.
He pleaded guilty to theft by unauthorized taking, three counts of identity fraud and simple assault on a police officer.
The lead charge was of fraudulent use of a credit card that took place in November of 2016. He posed as a now deceased elderly man living at Mineral Springs nursing home in Conway. He used an L.L. Bean Visa card belonging to the man to make cash advances from TB Bank in the amount of $14,618.
Amaral worked at the nursing home at the time.
For this crime, Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius sentenced Amaral to three to eight years in the New Hampshire State Prison.
However, she gave him 767 of pretrial confinement credit, which means he could be eligible for parole about a year from now.
The other sentences involved prison time that was suspended prison time, most of which which will hang over his head for a decade.
Amaral was represented by Shawn P. Sweeney of Shawn P. Sweeney Attorney At Law in Bedford.
Deputy Carroll County Attorney Steve Briden was prosecuting.
After the sentence was handed down, and Amaral had nothing to gain, he took a moment to address the court.
"I appreciate you accepting my plea, I know you don't have to do that," said Amaral, who was wearing a mask, like everyone else in the courtroom, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he was hard to hear.
"I appreciate Briden's tolerance the past three years ... I want to apologize to all the victims ... I do apologize. I hope that they can forgive me."
None of the victims was present.
Ignatius said she appreciated Amaral's remarks and hoped that Amaral doesn't go back to committing crimes.
"So let's hope that there's never a reason for the state to come forward and ask that time be served because it's significant," said Ignatius. "You know, you don't want that to happen."
The first charge of identify theft that Amaral pleaded guilty to came about as a result of a crime committed in December of 2016 in Conway. Amaral posed as the elderly man to a Barclaycard customer security representative to per-authorize a MoneyGram purchase.
The elderly man's estate did not seek restitution as the situation was apparently covered by insurance, Briden said.
He pleaded guilty to a second count of identify fraud against a woman in North Conway in November of 2016 by using her checking account of about $255. For that, Amaral was ordered to pay restitution.
Briden noted that Amaral took money from the woman to pay off some of the debt that he caused the elderly man.
He pleaded guilty to a third count of identity fraud in April of 2018 for applying for a credit card under an Arizona man's name. No money was taken.
The Arizona man dated Amaral's late wife, according to court documents from Conway Police.
The dropped charges consist of a mix of theft, identity fraud and fraudulent use of a credit card all related to the same victims.
Much of the investigation was done by Ryan Wallace of Conway Police.
Amaral also expressed regret for assaulting Tamworth Police Chief Dana Littlefield.
Conway police were granted an arrest warrant for the 2018 charge and gave it to Tamworth police because they believed Amaral was living in Tamworth.
But the arrest did not go smoothly when Littlefield went to arrest Amaral on the evening of July 13, 2018 at his mother's house.
Briden said during a foot chase around Amaral's mother's property, Amaral hit Littlefield with a porch swing.
An Ossipee police officer and his K-9, along with a Carroll County Sheriff's deputy helped locate Amaral in woods nearby and bring him into custody.