Woman who emptied husband's bank account while he was serving in Iraq gets probation

Jeff Bobo • Mar 2, 2009 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — A woman who cleaned out her husband’s bank account while he was serving with the Navy in Iraq received two years of probation Friday in exchange for guilty pleas to four counts of identity theft.

Christina Michelle Oppie, 21, 434 Fishers Creek Road, Rogersville, also agreed to pay full restitution to her husband, Jared Oppie, as part of the plea agreement.

Christina Oppie had been in jail since Feb. 13 when she appeared before Circuit Judge John Dugger on Friday to enter her guilty plea.

Although she was sentenced to two years and one day in prison, as part of the plea agreement she was released Friday to serve that time on probation. If she completes the terms of her probation, her record will be expunged.

Assistant Attorney General Doug Godbee said Christina Oppie and her husband were “splitting up,” but their divorce hadn’t been finalized as of the time he was shipped to Iraq.

While Jared Oppie was on duty in Iraq, Christina Oppie used another male to impersonate her husband to draw money from his account with the Navy Federal Credit Union, Godbee said.

Jared Oppie’s mother had power of power of attorney while he was overseas and discovered that withdrawals had been made.

The four withdrawals were made on April 15, April 21, May 1 and May 21.

Christina Oppie was ordered by the judge to pay more than $3,000 in restitution.

“Unfortunately we believe more money was taken out, but we could only connect a little bit over $3,000 to Mrs. Oppie,” Godbee said Monday. “We believe there was a male accomplice, but we have not been able to compile enough evidence at this time to prosecute. The judge ordered full restitution, and we’re going to enter an order trying to get some money released and transferred to the victim from Mrs. Oppie’s personal account at the Naval Credit Union.

“Her account had been frozen since the thefts came to light.”

Among the other guilty pleas heard Friday were:

•Loda E. Ward , 24, 474 Allen Drive, Kingsport, who was sentenced to one year in prison in exchange for guilty pleas to felony evading arrest, two counts of reckless driving, and registration violation. Ward was arrested last year for driving his motorcycle 138 mph in a 55 mph zone on March 24 on Highway 11-W in Church Hill and 156 mph in a 55 mph zone on 11-W in Mount Carmel on March 25. The felony evading arrest stemmed from the March 25 incident.

•Ronnie Edward “Cotton” Seals, 52, 198 Bray Road, Surgoinsville, who was already serving a 20-year sentence after being found guilty by a Hawkins County jury in February on charges including four counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, maintaining a dwelling where drugs are sold, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

On Friday, Seals was sentenced to an additional three years for a total of 23 years in exchange for guilty pleas to attempted possession of cocaine over a half ounce, simple possession of Schedule IV narcotics, and simple possession of Schedule III narcotics.

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