Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pennsylvania Woman Gets Six Months To Five Years For Abusing POA Over Unwitting Octogenarian; Fallout Includes $64K+ Ripoff, Loss Of Victim's Home To Foreclosure

In Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, Gant Daily reports:
  • A Clearfield woman accused of taking more than $64,000 from an elderly woman while serving as her power of attorney pleaded guilty during plea and sentencing court.

    Kathy Ann Martin, 57, 301 Ogden Ave., Clearfield, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft by unlawful taking and was sentenced to serve six months to five years in state prison.

    Originally she was charged with 763 counts each of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and 549 counts of other reason access device is unauthorized by user. She must pay $64,668.18 in restitution.

    Prior to sentencing, attorney Chris Pentz stated that it was “not a plan” for her to take these funds and commented that sometimes people just step over the line. Now she has been snapped back to reality and is ready to accept her punishment, he said. He noted that the recommended sentence was six times the sentencing range for someone with no criminal record.

    Judge Fredric J. Ammerman responded that the 89-year-old victim lost her home due to foreclosure and this case was not just a mishandling of funds.

    The victim “asked for money for glasses and special shoes and was told she did not have the money for that,” Ammerman said. This was while Martin was using the victim’s money for gambling and taking trips.

    No restitution has yet been made and Ammerman noted that the victim will not get her money back in her lifetime.

    He said the guideline sentencing in this case did not match the crime. When he started sounding as if he were going to send her to state prison, Pentz asked to withdraw the plea, but Ammerman refused.

    Martin apologized and as she cried, admitted she made a mistake.

    The charges stem from her actions while serving as power of attorney for the victim from March 29, 2001 to Oct. 1, 2013.

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