A Middletown woman has been sentenced to a year in prison for stealing more than $90,000 from an elderly Odessa man who she worked for as a home health aid.
Patricia Taylor, 53, pled guilty in October to crimes against a vulnerable adult due to theft, said Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Justice.
Taylor was arrested in May.
Superior Court Judge Jan R. Jurden sentenced Taylor this week to one year in prison, followed by a lengthy term of probation, ordered her to pay restitution and have no contact with the victims, and barred her from working as a home health aid worker.
The prosecutor of the case recommended that Taylor receive a prison sentence because of the seriousness of the offense.
The prosecution of Taylor resulted from a criminal investigation initiated by the Middletown Police Department after receiving a report of suspicious financial activity from the victim and his family, Miller said.
The investigation revealed that between January 2011 and March 2012, Taylor stole from the 78-year-old Odessa man through a plot consisting of numerous financial schemes, he said.
According to the investigation, Taylor overpaid herself $64,000 in salary and pocketed more than $20,000 on 16 occasions by siphoning off funds during transfers of money from an investment account to a checking account.
Police also said that in addition to this, Taylor solicited the victim for a $1,500 loan to care for her allegedly ill parents' in-law, but instead wrote herself a $2,500 check and used it for other personal purposes, Miller said.
Taylor also stole an additional $3,800 using the victim's ATM card.
The victim is a retired former who was widowed in 2004.
He suffered a stroke in 2007 and had been able to remain in his home with the assistance of home health care aids who he relied on for daily tasks and functions, including assistance in making financial transactions, the prosecutor said last week.
She noted the loss from this theft had caused the victim to reduce the amount of in-home care her received by 38 hours per week and to curtail many of the activities he previously enjoyed, Miller said.