Thursday, February 23, 2017

Appointed After Death Of Elderly Man, Financial Guardian Admits To Pilfering Over $60K From Deceased's Widow, Leaving Bills Unpaid, Sending Home Into Foreclosure

In Kentwood, Michigan, WZZM-TV Channel 13 reports:
  • A Kentwood woman accused of siphoning funds from an elderly widow, putting her in jeopardy of losing her home, pleaded no contest to a felony charge that accused her of pocketing funds over a seven-year period.

    Christina Ledesma, 60, was accused of taking more than $60,000 from the Kentwood victim between 2009 and 2015.

    After the victim’s husband died, Ledesma became her guardian to handle finances, court records show.

    The victim’s husband had taken care of paying the bills, “so after he died the victim needed assistance with handling her financial matters,’’ Kentwood Police Detective William Frederick wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

    “In 2015, the victim’s bills were not being paid and the victim’s home was in the process of foreclosure,’’ Frederick wrote. “The investigation revealed that Christina Ledesma had taken over $60,000 from the victim’s account at Fifth-Third Bank.’’

    Kentwood launched the investigation after getting a call from Adult Protective Services, a division of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, on behalf of the 83-year-old woman.

    Ledesma was charged in December with embezzlement of $50,000 or more but less than $100,000, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. During an interview with police, Ledesma “admitted to taking the victim’s money,’’ court records show.

    During a brief appearance Wednesday, Feb. 8 before Kent County Circuit Court Judge Donald A. Johnston, Ledesma pleaded no contest to an attempted embezzling charge. She’ll return to court for sentencing in May. Ledesma remains free on bond.

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