How Serious is Grand Theft of an Elderly Person?
Have you ever wondered what type of felony it is to steal from an elderly person? Because of their age, it is a very sensitive crime and depending on the amount, can be a first, second ,or third degree felony. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, two women employed by the state have been caught taking advantage of an elderly woman and stealing from her while she was hospitalized for dementia.
Grand Theft of an Elderly Person
The women were adult protective investigators with the Florida Department of Children and Families. They were assigned to protect 85-year-old Jane Janssen and instead stole about $20,000 from her bank accounts.
Palm Beach Police conducted an investigation and arrested the women, Mindi Marie Berry, 33, and her DCF supervisor, Greta Laverne Lambert, 41. A third woman was arrested as well, a member of an escort service hired to cash stolen checks.
An agency spokesman said Berry and Lambert were fired in November after DCF learned of the police investigation.
The women face charges of organizing a scheme to defraud, grand theft from an elderly person, credit card fraud and identity theft.
Grand Theft of an Elderly Person and the Law
An elderly person is considered anyone over the age of 65. A person is charged with grand theft of an elderly person if he or she is accused of stealing more than $1,000 from a person over 65. Anyone convicted of such a crime must pay restitution and participate in up to 500 hours of community service in addition to any other sentencing as decided by the judge. Grand theft of an elderly person is a first degree felony if the defendant was aware that the victim was older than 65 and the stolen property amounted to more than $50,000. (Between $10,000 and $50,000 is a second degree felony).
Grand Theft Criminal Defense
Taking advantage of elderly or disabled people is not a crime that is taken lightly in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately it is not all that uncommon either. If you have been charged with grand theft of an elderly person, you need someone to defend you right a way. Contact a criminal defense lawyer so you can at least have a chance at a sentence of just paying restitution and completing community service.