Archive for the ‘Elder Theft’ Category

Rossen Reports: Thieves target seniors at nursing homes

October 26, 2013
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Across the United States, nursing-home residents are having their money stolen by people they know: the homes’ bookkeepers and office managers who handle their trust funds and manage their expenses.

It’s a crime that’s been committed against thousands of nursing-home residents, including Leo Foster’s 89-year-old mother at the Vicksburg Convalescent Center in Vicksburg, Miss.

“It made me feel sick at my stomach,” Leo’s wife Phyllis Foster told TODAY’s National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen. “It just didn’t dawn on me that someone would be so low as to steal from a vulnerable adult.”

Police learned that a woman named Lee Ray Martin, a business office coordinator at the Vicksburg Convalescent Center and Shady Lawn Health and Rehabilitation homes, had been raiding residents’ trust accounts.

“In (a) three-month period there were 12 or 15 cash withdrawals,” Phyllis Foster said of her mother-in-law’s account. “And we knew that there was something drastically wrong.”

In August, Martin pleaded guilty to 29 counts of exploitation of a vulnerable person and one count of conspiracy. She is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from 83 residents’ trust funds and going on shopping sprees at stores like J.C. Penney, Gap, Walmart and American Eagle. In one instance, Martin bought a pair of designer jeans and expensed them to an elderly resident with no legs.

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Rossen Reports: Thieves target seniors at nursing homes

Woman Accepts Plea Deal In Theft From Elderly Mother

October 12, 2013

BARTOW | A 43-year-old woman accepted a plea deal Tuesday on charges of stealing more than $40,000 while acting as her mother’s court-appointed guardian.

Diana Copley pleaded guilty to exploitation of an elderly person. Her sentencing is set for Nov. 12.
If Copley repays $36,922 in restitution by the time of her sentencing hearing, she is expected to receive 120 days in jail followed by three years of probation, according to the plea agreement.

If she does not repay the amount, Copley is expected to receive about a year in jail followed by three years of probation.

Copley was arrested in November 2012 after investigators say she took money from her mother, Virginia Rieke of Lakeland.

In October 2008, a judge wrote that Rieke, who at the time was 76, needed a guardian because she was “totally incapacitated.”

Stephen R. Menge, an investigator with the State Attorney’s Office in Bartow, wrote in a complaint affidavit that Copley abused her position as guardian and financially exploited her mother.

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Woman Accepts Plea Deal In Theft From Elderly Mother

State bills target elder abuse, theft

October 2, 2013

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and two local state senators Monday urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign three bills aimed at helping to prevent elder abuse, including financial elder abuse.

“The changes to the law included in these bills will make a real difference as our Elder Abuse Unit works to hold defendants accountable when they abuse senior citizens in our community,” Dumanis said.

She was joined by Sens. Mark Wyland, R-Carlsbad, and Joel Anderson, R- San Diego, in encouraging the governor to sign the legislation.

SB 543, which is sponsored by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, would ensure that theft from an elder is a “qualifying prior offense” when sentencing a person to prison, removing an ambiguity in the law to treat elder theft with the same seriousness as any other form of theft.

“My mother was a victim of financial fraud, so this issue is personal to me,” Wyland said. “One of the most meaningful things we can do as legislators is to strengthen laws to protect the vulnerable in our communities from people who would take advantage of them.”

According to Anderson, “SB 543 will ensure criminals who commit crimes against our grandmas and grandpas will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

“I believe, by signing this bill into law, Governor Brown will be sending a clear message to seniors,” he said. “California will not tolerate senior abuse and we are committed to protecting these cherished members of our society with all our might.”

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State bills target elder abuse, theft

Fresh fraud charges for ex-Morris County investment adviser

August 14, 2013

A former Morris County woman previously accused of bilking clients of her unregistered investment advisory firm has been hit with a fresh set of theft and fraud charges, the state Attorney General’s Office said today.

And among Janet Fooshee’s alleged victims was a retirement community where she allegedly volunteered as a bookkeeper, officials said.

A grand jury on Monday indicted Fooshee, 61, now of Maine, on charges that she stole more than $150,000 from the accounts of both her advisory firm’s clients and the retirement community, where she worked pro bono. Authorities say she put this money into the accounts of other clients in an effort to cover up their financial losses.

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Fresh fraud charges for ex-Morris County investment adviser

Luzerne caregiver accused of taking at least $258K from elderly woman

August 12, 2013

A Luzerne woman is facing theft charges after prosecutors say she stole more than a quarter-million dollars from an elderly woman for whom she was supposed to be caring.

Sharon Mae Jacobosky, 70, is charged with three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.

According to the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, Dallas Borough police began investigating Jacobosky after getting a complaint that she was taking money for her own benefit. At the time, Jacobosky was the caregiver and had power of attorney for Clementine Moseman, according to prosecutors.

The Institute on Protective Services at Temple University conducted a forensic audit on accounts owned by Moseman and her daughter, Pamela Wehrenberg, prosecutors said.

The audit revealed Jacobosky had taken $258,538 between Jan. 1, 2009, and Nov. 4, 2011, according to prosecutors.

“An overwhelming number of cases of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation go undetected each year,” District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said in a statement. “Unfortunately, some of these vulnerable adults are abused by family members, service providers and caregivers.”

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Luzerne caregiver accused of taking at least $258K from elderly woman

Montclair banker guilty in client thefts

August 10, 2013

Linda Foss, the former branch manager at a
U.S. Bank on Mountain Boulevard,
was fired for taking funds out of an
elderly customer’s account.

A banker who once led a merchant group in Oakland’s upscale Montclair neighborhood pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing millions from clients, many of whom are elderly, and is expected to be sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

Linda Foss, 62, the former president of the Montclair Village Association, entered guilty pleas in Alameda County Superior Court to five counts of elder theft, two counts of grand theft and one count of money laundering.

She is expected to be sentenced Oct. 3 to 12 years in state prison and will be ordered to pay restitution to 15 victims in an amount to be determined, authorities said. Her attorney was not immediately available for comment.

Foss was fired as branch manager at a U.S. Bank on Mountain Boulevard in March. She then took the same position at a First Republic Bank. The investigation by the district attorney’s office began after officials with both banks came forward to report suspicious activity, Inspector Ron Miller wrote in a court affidavit.

When confronted about missing funds from one alleged victim’s account at U.S. Bank – which held $353,000 instead of an expected $972,000 – Foss “claimed that one elder was paying the other elder back for monies borrowed during the Oakland hills fire” in 1991, Miller wrote.

However, he wrote, the two account holders did not know each other. Investigators determined that the mailing address for both victims’ bank statements had been changed to the address of U.S. Bank.

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Montclair banker guilty in client thefts

Ex-judge avoids jail for fleecing woman

August 6, 2013

A former Alameda County Superior Court judge charged with swindling a 97-year-old neighbor out of her life savings pleaded no contest Thursday to elder abuse and perjury and will not face jail time.

Paul Seeman, who was originally charged with dozens of felony counts, is expected to be sentenced to five years of probation Oct. 22 as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He will be ordered not to live with or act as a caregiver for an elder or dependent adult other than family members or act as a fiduciary for anyone, authorities said.

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said, “Seeman has paid for his breach of trust as a judicial officer, and he has paid for his financial abuse of the elderly victim who has since passed away. He will never serve in a position of trust or authority again, as a result of these convictions. Justice is served through the resolution of this case.”

Seeman, 58, of Berkeley has declined to discuss the case. His attorney, Laurel Headley, declined to comment Thursday.

In the charges filed last year, authorities said Seeman had befriended Anne Nutting, his neighbor across the street on Santa Barbara Road in the Berkeley hills, and obtained powers of attorney for her and her husband, who died in 1999.

He then used those powers to gain control of Nutting’s finances, sold her art works and barred her from her house from 1999 to 2007 while she lived in a hotel at the Berkeley Marina, prosecutors said. She died in 2010, but not before consulting with an attorney who then contacted police.

Seeman was also accused of lying about his financial transactions with Nutting in his sworn statements of economic interests, and with misusing judicial staff.

Seeman acknowledged to police that he had put himself in an “awfully bad situation” while handling Nutting’s financial affairs. He told a Berkeley police detective that it was “clearly a mistake for me to stay as enmeshed with her as I did,” authorities said.

At the same time, Seeman said he didn’t believe he had “done anything unethical or inappropriate,” district attorney’s Inspector Kathy Boyovich wrote in an 87-page search-warrant affidavit filed in Superior Court.

Seeman resigned from the bench in March. As a result of his convictions, he is barred from seeking judicial office and disbarred from practicing law in California.

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Ex-judge avoids jail for fleecing woman

See Also:
Judge Paul Seeman, Charged With Elder Abuse, Resigns

Alameda County judge charged in elder abuse case to take leave of absence; affidavit outlines charges

CA: Alameda County Judge Charged With Elder Theft

Millburn fire inspector to pay back grandmother’s estate

August 5, 2013

Peter and Angela DiCostanzo of Nutley
 appear with their attorneys in Superior Court

Superior Court ordered a Millburn fire inspector to pay $100,000 after he pleaded guilty on Friday, July 26, to charges of forgery and theft, relating to his grandmother.

Peter DiCostanzo, 40, of Nutley, appeared in court with a $100,000 check, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Spokeswoman Kathy Carter said.

DiCostanzo and his wife Angela, 35, had been indicted on charges of forgery, theft and misapplication of entrusted funds, relating to Peter DiCostanzo’s grandmother. Charges against Angela DiCostanzo were dismissed on Friday, according to Carter.

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Millburn fire inspector to pay back grandmother’s estate

O’burg Man Charged In Theft From Priest

July 28, 2013

Jessie Austin

An Ogdensburg man will be arraigned Monday in St. Lawrence County Court after allegedly stealing more than $17,000 from a Catholic priest living at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home.

34 year old Jessie Austin is free on $3,000 bail after being named in a 10 count indictment earlier this week charging him with one felony count of fourth degree grand larceny and nine felony counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Court documents show Austin is alleged to have stolen and cashed several checks belonging to the Community Bank account of 82 year old Rev. Edward Papp from December 2012 to April 2013.

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O’burg Man Charged In Theft From Priest

Woman charged with stealing $423,000 from elderly uncle

March 16, 2013

TACOMA, Wash. — A woman is in jail after allegedly stealing more than $420,000 from her 96-year-old uncle while he suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Betsey Cammon, 54, with 34 counts of theft, a crime she initially blamed on threats and extortion from an unknown person.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Cammon was given power of attorney for her uncle in 1998. But, that would only go into effect once he was no longer able to make his own decisions regarding his financial affairs.

In May 2007, Cammon was added to her uncle’s bank accounts. He was admitted to a nursing home two years later.

In March 2009, Cammon’s power of attorney was finally activated when a doctor found her uncle could no longer manage his affairs. At that point, Cammon had already withdrawn nearly $200,000 from his bank accounts, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Cammon failed to pay her uncle’s nursing home bill in 2010. Rainier Guardianship Services took over guardianship of Cammon’s uncle in May of that year and needed to liquidate his assets to pay his living expenses because his accounts had been almost completed depleted, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Cammon’s uncle died four months later, and his nephew was appointed as his personal representative, finding a number of discrepancies in his uncle’s accounts.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Cammon promised to produce information and an explanation for the missing funds. She didn’t, later claiming she was threatened and extorted for the money by an unknown person.

A family member finally reported the situation to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office in April 2012. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, an investigation showed Cammon withdrew $423,120.75 from her uncle’s accounts and gifted another $49,450 to her friends.

She used some of the money to pay property taxes on two homes she owns with her boyfriend, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

Cammon is being held on $25,000 bail and may still face additional charges.

“Our Elder Fraud team vigorously prosecutes cases of elder fraud and theft,” Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a press release. “We encourage family and friends of elder victims to come forward and report these crimes against some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

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Woman charged with stealing $423,000 from elderly uncle