BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A woman has plead no contest after allegedly cashing 164 checks from an elderly man's checking accounts totaling over $172,000.
According to Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, Donna Crick pleaded no contest on April 15 to financial elder abuse by a non-caretaker and admitted the enhancement of theft resulting in a loss of greater than $100,000.
According to Zimmer, Crick befriended the elderly man in 2013. From 2013 to 2016, Crick cashed 164 checks from the victim's checking accounts totaling over $172,000. Zimmer says in May 2016, Crick diverted the victim's annuity payment of over $36,000 into her personal account.
Zimmer says once Crick drained the victim's life savings, she convinced the elderly man to make her the beneficiary and trustee of his living trust, home, annuity, and life insurance. Crick also obtained Power of Attorney over his healthcare.
Zimmer says the victim was diagnosed with severe dementia in 2016 and a conservator was put in place following an investigation by the Adult Protective Unit of the Kern County Department of Aging and Adult Services.
Sentencing for Crick is scheduled for May 13. Zimmer says Crick faces five years in state prison.
In a statement, DA Zimmer says her office is "committed to bring to justice those who abuse vulnerable elderly persons."
"Elder abuse is a significant and growing problem in Kern County and all of California. The District Attorney's Office and law enforcement are committed to bring to justice those who abuse vulnerable elderly persons, whether it be physical or financial abuse."