A home health aide was found guilty Tuesday of befriending an older patient and convincing him to write her checks for thousands of dollars.
Ammie Carmona, 37, of 1711 Kelsey Ave. entered Alford pleas before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates to theft from an elderly or disabled adult and Medicaid eligibility fraud. She faces up to three years in prison at sentencing May 6.
In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to committing a crime, but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction that could result in a more severe sentence. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
Jennifer Liptack-Wilson, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the court that between 2008 and 2012, Carmona provided care to a now-88-year-old man in his home and during that time obtained money from him by deception.
“The payments were issued to the defendant in the form of checks written by the victim to cover expenses for the defendant, including college tuition as well as her children’s school tuition. However, upon further inquiry it was determined that the defendant did not use the money given to her by the victim for the purposes that she requested it for,” Ms. Liptack-Wilson said.
During roughly the same period, she said, Carmona failed to report the income she received from her victim, “which resulted in her getting various forms of benefits from the Department of Job and Family Services that she otherwise would not have been eligible to receive.”
As part of a plea agreement, Carmona agreed to pay $150,000 in restitution to the elderly victim and $122,015 for the Medicaid fraud. Charges of grand theft and tampering with records are to be dismissed at sentencing.
Robert Baumgartner, an investigator with the prosecutor’s senior-protection unit, said the plea deal was necessary because the victim’s memory has diminished.
“I do think people ought to know the elderly are basically the easy victims to these criminals,” he said. “Someone has to look out for them.”