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Woman faces felonies for swindling imprisoned man

WILLMAR -- A Mandan, N.D., woman made her first appearance Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court on four felony charges alleging that she used her boyfriend's credit card to run up $16,500 in debt and took a $2,500 diamond ring and two guns from his safe while he was incarcerated.

Unconditional bail was set at $25,000 for Pamela Kay Berger, who faces theft, check forgery, offering a forged check and financial card transaction fraud charges. Conditional bail was allowed at $2,000. Her next court appearance is March 11.

According to the complaint, in January 2004 a man reported to the Willmar Police that Berger, who was his girlfriend, had run up $16,000 in credit card debt on four of his accounts while he was in the county jail and in the state prison system between mid-2002 to January 2004. She had also opened a fifth account in his name and ran up a bill on that account too.

He alleged that she had paid $10,000 for an attorney that he didn't need on the cards and had cashed a $4,100 refund check, made out to him, from the attorney. Documents provided by the man showed $16,504.51 in credit card charges, to Willmar stores and for cash advances from area banks. There were also charges and cash advances made in the Mandan area.

The man also reported that a diamond ring, valued at $2,570, was missing from his safe, along with two guns, valued at $325. The ring, a 14-caret gold ring with a ½ caret and two ¼ caret diamonds, had been replaced by a cubic zirconium ring.