TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, New Mexico -- A former probate judge and deputy medical investigator for the City of Truth or Consequences was sentenced to prison alongside her husband on Friday for stealing $284,000 from a dead man's estate, prosecutors said.
In sentencing former judge Pamela Smith to 4 1/2 years and her husband, Randy Smith, to 2 1/2 years in state prison, Sierra County Judge Jim Foy called the fraud case an example of “judicial corruption at its worst.”
The pair will also have to pay restitution to the victim’s estate in the amount of the stolen money.
Prosecutors in the New Mexico Attorney General's Office said Pamela Smith falsified records involving the estate and then appointed her husband as special administrator to that estate. Those fraudulent actions allowed the couple to steal from the dead man's assets, which authorities said they used for their own personal expenses.
“The City of Truth or Consequences put its trust in Ms. Smith to protect New Mexico citizens. Instead, she blatantly betrayed that trust and concocted a scheme to enrich herself,” said state Attorney General Hector Balderas. “This was a disgusting act, and we must be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves and ensure that these individuals go to prison for the harm they have caused to this family.”