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Statement from friend of Zeller’s son, sheds light on her spending

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WADDINGTON - When Monsignor Robert L. Lawler was testifying in city court earlier this week he said Bobbie Jo Zeller told him she wanted to “have a good life for her and her son.”

While Monsignor Lawler’s interpretation of “good life” and Zeller’s apparently differ, a statement given to police by an unidentified teenage friend of her son indicates Zeller was living what many would consider to be “the good life,” using money allegedly obtained through a scam that nettered her more than $300,000.

“I am at the state police station in Massena, New York, to report that I attended a professional football game and I now think the person who got the tickets may have gotten them by stealing them somehow,” the 16 year old said in a statement filed this week in Waddington Town Court. “The tickets were from Bobbie Jo Zeller.”

According to the statement, which had the name of the 16-year-old male giving it redacted, he attended a game last year between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers with Zeller, her son, and another man, he identified as Zeller’s brother.

While the game was a treat, the teenager said that wasn’t the first time Zeller spent money on him or gave him gifts.

“His, mom, Bobbie Jo, was always really nice to me and offered to buy me things like clothes and things like that,” he said.

The teen said that he has known Zeller’s son for about two years, but became “pretty close friends” with him last year prior to going to the football game.

“In November of 2012, (her son) asked me if I would be interested in going to the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers game at the Meadowland’s Met Life Stadium in New Jersey,” he recalled, noting his parents gave him permission to go on the trip.

“We left a couple days before the game, which was played Sunday, Nov. 25,” he said, adding they stopped in Syracuse and met a man Zeller identified as her brother.

“I don’t know his name,” the teen said, noting they then drove to their hotel in New Jersey, which was close to the stadium.

“Once we checked into the hotel, Bobbie drove us into New York City to look around,” he said. “The next morning we went into New York City again, but this time we took the bus.”

After spending the day in the city, the boy said he, Zeller and her son went to dinner at Medieval Times, a medieval-themed restaurant with a jousting show. According to the restaurant’s website, 2013 basic dinner packages are $59.95 per person.

“We then went back to the hotel and watched a couple on movies in the hotel room on pay per view,” he said.

The following morning the trio slept in before going to the football game, where Zeller had a seemingly endless supply of money.

“There we met (Zeller’s son’s) uncle, who I mentioned before, but I don’t remember his name. The four of us went into the stadium, and we sat together,” he said. “Our seats were in the Giants’ end zone, about half way up.”

Prior to the game, the boy said Zeller bought both he and her son jerseys, which on the team’s website range in price from $99.95 for replica jerseys to $249.95 for authentic ones.

“She also bought us drinks and food throughout the game,” he said. “The Giants won, and we went back to the car and left to head home.

The teen said it was his understanding that Ms. Zeller worked for Hospice & Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, something the organization’s finance director Mac Shoen said Friday was not true, noting Zeller has never worked for Hospice.

“She said she bought the tickets from Ticketmaster and that she worked at Hospice,” the teen said. “I don’t know how much money she makes there, but she always had a wad of cash in her purse, which she used to pay for everything.”

This statement was included in the file at Waddington Town Court, where Zeller was arraigned Thursday on fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree identity theft charges in Waddington Town Court.

Those charges stem from Zeller’s alleged use of June H. McQueeney’s credit card, where she racked up nearly $10,000 in charges, including a $522.45 purchase through Ticketmaster two weeks prior to the football game and charges that she received $1,600 from McQueeney as a loan that was never paid back.

Zeller was also arraigned in Potsdam Town Court Thursday on two third-degree grand larceny charges, for allegedly scamming Robert W. and Gloria J. Dietze out of more than $30,000.

The four charges Zeller was arraigned on Thursday are not new charges. They are charges that were simply refiled after learning that Ogdensburg City Court Judge William R. Small did not have the jurisdiction to arraign Zeller on all of the charges she was facing.

Up to four additional petit larceny charges also remain pending.

Zeller, who is being represented by attorney Brian Pilatzke, is currently being held at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility without bail.

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