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

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WADDINGTON — Monsignor Robert L. Lawler testified last week that Bobbie Jo Zeller told him she wanted to “have a good life for her and her son.”

A glimpse of the good life enjoyed by Ms. Zeller, accused of conning Mr. Lawler and other charitable donors of some $300,000, was offered in a report to state police by a 16-year-old boy who said he watched her spend money freely on such things as a trip to a New York Giants game.

The boy, a friend of Ms. Zeller’s son, said, “His mom, Bobbie Jo, was always really nice to me and offered to buy me things like clothes and things like that.”

The boy’s name was redacted from his statement, which was filed last week in Waddington Town Court.

The boy described a weekend outing last year for the Nov. 25 game between the Giants and the Green Bay Packers. “The tickets were from Bobbie Jo Zeller,” he said.

So were the hotel stay, with pay-per-view movies; sightseeing in New York City; dinner at a medieval-themed restaurant, with entertainment; football jerseys; and food and drinks during the game, according to the boy. “Our seats were in the Giants’ end zone, about half way up,” he said.

The boy said a man from Syracuse identified by Ms. Zeller as her brother joined them for the trip.

“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.”

Mac Shoen, finance director of Hospice & Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, said Friday that Ms. Zeller has never worked for Hospice.

She was arraigned Thursday in Waddington Town Court on charges of fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree identity theft. She is accused of using June H. McQueeney’s credit card to rack up nearly $10,000 in charges, including a $522.45 purchase through Ticketmaster two weeks before the football game. She also is accused of taking $1,600 from Mrs. McQueeney as a loan that was never paid back.

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

Those charges were refiled because Ogdensburg City Court Judge William R. Small did not have the jurisdiction to arraign Ms. Zeller on all of the charges she was facing.

Up to four additional petit larceny charges also remain pending.

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

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