A woman pleaded no contest Thursday to two computer crimes after allegedly stealing more than $50,000 from an Astoria attorney’s bank account.
Evonne Nicole Hughes, 34, of Portland, originally faced 10 computer crimes charges, 10 counts of theft and 10 counts of identity theft and was scheduled for trial next week. If convicted, she faced more than 20 years in prison.
But she recently reached an agreement with the Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office to serve three years of probation in exchange for the no contest pleas.
Astoria attorney Pat Lavis, 83, met Hughes while she was waitressing at a local coffee shop and convinced her to work for him at his law office on Exchange Street as he dealt with health issues. While there, Hughes asked him for financial help to pay a car loan and other bills.
After Lavis signed checks and gave them to Hughes, she allegedly used a routing number to access his bank account. She then allegedly set up an automatic payment plan to pay electric, phone and credit-card bills. Between September 2014 and June 2015, nearly 150 payments drained $50,656 from Lavis’ bank account.
Though Lavis told police he never gave her permission to use the account, Hughes said at the time that she was given blank checks. She was indicted in March 2016 and previously indicated she would like to take her case to trial. Multiple continuance motions prolonged the case until the probation agreement was finalized.
Hughes is scheduled to be sentenced in early September and will be required to pay $50,656 in restitution. If she does not pay, the deal will be withdrawn.