Friday, December 11, 2015

Woman Gets Pinched For Allegedly Ripping Off $40K From Her 92-Year Old Mom; Probe Triggered When Retirement Community Landlord Notified County Aging Services Agency That Formerly Prompt-Paying Victim Fell $30K+ Behind In Rent Once Daughter Scored POA

In Media, Pennsylvania, KYW-TV Channel 3 reports:
  • A woman is facing theft charges after she allegedly made $40,000 in unauthorized withdrawals from her mother’s bank account after she assumed Power of Attorney.

    According to Jack Whelan, the Delaware County District Attorney, she also allegedly created a GoFundMe page to fraudulently raise money, claiming her mother was ill when she was actually in good health.

    Fifty-three-year-old Carol Mongrandi, of Brookhaven, is charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property, forgery and theft by deception.

    “We understand that the daughter may have her own financial needs, she may have her own expenses that she needs to pay, but not at mom’s expense,” Whelan told Eyewitness News.

    “Now you may have a reason why you’ve taken mom’s money and your reason may in your own mind be good- but it’s not. You need to make sure you take care of mom first,” Whelan continued.

    Authorities began investigating Mongrandi after being notified by Denise Gallagher, the Ombudsman Coordinator for Delaware County, about the alleged financial exploitation of a senior.

    Officials say Gallagher received a phone call from the administrator of the Lima Estates [a local retirement community] regarding resident Marjorie Montgomery, 92, who had been a resident at the Lima Estates for 35 years.

    The administrator said Montgomery always paid her bills on time, but that changed when her daughter, Carol Mongrandi, took over as her Power of Attorney.

    Authorities say despite numerous letters sent to Mongrandi, her mother’s account at the Lima Estates was in default of approximately $32,098.16.

    Officials say through the course of the investigation, it was learned that Mongrandi had allegedly been taking advantage of her mother in her capacity as Power of Attorney by opening bank accounts and credit cards in her mother’s name, as well as making withdrawals from her account.

    “No, no. It’s not right. It’s ridiculous,” Craig Heller, the defendant’s boyfriend, told Eyewitness News.

    Authorities say Mongrandi opened a credit card for Sears and Capital One, which she allegedly used for her daily living expenses.

    It is also alleged she signed her mother’s name to a car loan without her knowledge or authorization.

    Mongrandi is accused of then creating a GoFundMe page seeking donations from the public to pay for her mother’s bills. Authorities say on the page, she claimed her mother was experiencing a decline in her health after suffering two strokes, when she was in fact in good health.

    Officials say Mongrandi pocketed $1,200 that was raised through the page for her own use.

    “I to want commend Det. Ruggieri and the other members of our Senior Exploitation Unit who work diligently to protect our elderly residents, sadly sometimes even from their own families,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “It is far too often we see crimes against seniors committed by loved ones who feel entitled in their positions of authority. In this particular case, Carol Mongrandi stole from her very own mother, putting her previously sound financial accounts in default by thousands of dollars.”

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