AUBURN – A Lisbon Falls woman accused of stealing more than $50,000 from people and banks in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties will spend the next two years in prison.

Jacqueline Gholson, 41, pleaded guilty Friday to numerous counts of forgery, theft and misuse of identification.

Accepting a joint recommendation from the state and Gholson’s lawyer, Justice Thomas E. Delahanty II sentenced her to a total of five years in prison, with all but two years suspended, followed by eight years of probation.

The sentence came weeks after Gholson was sent to prison on federal convictions.

Since many of the charges involved banks, which are federally insured, Gholson also pleaded guilty in federal court and was sentenced to 18 months in prison with three years of supervised release.

She will serve the state’s sentence at the same time as the federal one, said Deputy District Attorney Craig Turner.

Local police have described Gholson, who is also known as Jacqueline Zavala and Terri Caito, as a polished thief with many tricks. They say her crime spree lasted about a year.

In some cases, she called random people and convinced them to give her their credit card numbers by pretending to work for the credit company. In others, she forged signatures and endorsements on stolen checks.

An Androscoggin County grand jury first charged her in February 2002 with one count of forgery. After pleading not guilty, she was released on $250 bail and ordered to stay away from Peoples Heritage Bank, Lisbon Community Federal Credit Union, BIW Credit Union and Androscoggin Bank. She was also prohibited from having a checking account.

Gholson posted bail and continued her schemes, eventually racking up more than 10 charges in Oxford and Franklin counties.

As part of her sentence, Gholson was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution. The extended probation was requested to make sure she does her best to pay up, Turner said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.