The victim was 94 years old, but she still could tell that something was wrong with her bank account. Money – a lot of money – was missing.
Michelle Sanders admitted Tuesday that she took the cash. Sanders, a home health care aide, was using her client’s debit card to make ATM withdrawals from the woman’s savings.
Charged with identity theft and third degree grand larceny, Sanders, 47, of Leonard Street, pleaded guilty to the highest charge, the larceny, for taking $10,433 from her employer.
The thefts occurred between August 2015 and February 2016, while Sanders was taking care of the Amherst woman in her home. When the woman became aware of the discrepancies in her account, she and her grandson went to the bank and the unauthorized withdrawals were discovered.
In accepting the guilty plea, State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang instructed Sanders to make full restitution to the victim, although Sanders will have to find another way to come up with the money.
“You’re not to be working in anybody’s home,” Wolfgang told her.
The judge also said that, becasue Sanders has no prior criminal record, she likely will receive a sentence of probation when she returns to court Oct. 4, if she demonstrates a good faith effort to repay the stolen money.
Assistant District Attorney Candace K. Vogel is prosecuting the case.