Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced that Hope Pearson, a certified nurse aide, entered a plea of guilty to the charge of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a Class E felony in Cortland County Court.
Pearson and co-defendant Schenekqua Carter were indicted on charges alleging the theft of a debit/credit card from a resident of Crown Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Cortland.
Schneiderman says the two defendants used the card throughout central New York; at stores, at ATMs, and at the casino, stealing a total of $5,229.14 in merchandise and cash.
In a statement provided by his office, NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “Nursing home residents are amongst our state’s most vulnerable citizens, and they deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity by those in charge of their care.”
Attorney General Schneiderman added, “For a certified nurse aide to steal from someone whose wellbeing is their primary responsibility is reprehensible. Nursing home professionals who seek to profit by stealing from defenseless residents will be held accountable.”
Using personal information which could have come only from someone with close personal access to the victim, Pearson and her co-defendant activated the card and checked on available balances. The news release states that telephone records helped to identify both defendants.
Pearson worked as an agency-assigned certified nurse aide and was not a regular employee of the facility. She provided care for the victim in the week prior to the fraudulent use of the card. The administration of Crown Center Nursing Home was of great assistance in identifying the cause of the initial theft.
Following the plea, a Pre-Sentence Report was ordered, and Pearson will return for sentencing on October 4, 2016.
Co-defendant Schenekqua Carter entered a similar plea and was sentenced to a split sentence of five years’ probation, with credit for 45 days in jail, and an order of restitution.