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Gamble ordered to get counseling

June 21, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man awaiting sentencing in a federal embezzlement case settled a separate domestic battery charge this week.

Gregory A. Gamble, 48, of 515 Surrey Ave., Hagerstown, will be required to get counseling after his federal sentencing, which is expected to include prison time, according to Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Groh.

Gamble, who pled guilty in March to embezzling more than $300,000 in Social Security payments that he was supposedly managing for mental health clients, is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg on Monday.

He can receive up to five years in prison, under a plea agreement between the prosecution and the defense. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

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In addition, he may be ordered to pay for his own incarceration and repay more than $304,000 to the federal Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Gamble and his wife, Julia, were each charged with domestic battery, a misdemeanor, last August after an altercation in front of a house on South Rosemont Avenue in Martinsburg, according to Groh and court records.

Groh said Gregory Gamble allegedly struck his wife in the face and Julia Gamble allegedly bit her husband.

It was agreed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court on Monday that both Gambles would seek counseling, Groh said.

The cases were put on a "stet docket," meaning the charges are on hold and will later be dropped if the defendants go for counseling, Groh said.

In the federal case, Gamble pleaded guilty to a one-count indictment that said he used Aurora Foundation, Inc. to collect money from the Social Security Administration on behalf of his clients, but kept the money for himself.

Craig Manford, Gamble's attorney, said Gamble spent all of the money.

An FBI agent testified at Gamble's plea hearing in March that Aurora, on West King Street in Martinsburg, collected $1.78 million in Social Security payments for 146 clients between March 1995 and April 1999.

Gamble, who was designated to pay clients' bills for them, kept $213,000 of it, Special Agent Terry Grzadzielewski said.

Authorities said Gamble also received almost $90,000 more to cover Aurora's expenses, plus $1,360 in benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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