A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Certified Nurse's Aide For Stealing Jewelry From Nursing Home Residents

Aide Pawned Jewels Of Sentimental And Religious Value That Were Stolen From Elderly Victims

Defendant Was In Possession Of Heroin, Xanax And Suboxone

A.G. Schneiderman: Theft From Our Most Vulnerable Citizens Won’t Be Tolerated


HAUPPAUGE – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of Ashley Cancemi, a former certified nurse’s aide at Cedar Lodge Nursing Center,for stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from five elderly residents. Cancemi was arrested by the Suffolk County Police Department after she pawned at least eight pieces of jewelry, including a gold-and-diamond wedding ring valued at $1,250.

Cancemi, 26, was employed by Cedar Lodge Nursing Home for two weeks this past July, during which time she made at least five visits to pawn shops in Shirley for the purpose of selling stolen jewelry. Some of the items pawned were of sentimental and religious value, including the wedding band, a gold Blessed Mother pendant and a crucifix. The jewelry was reportedly stolen from elderly and disabled nursing home residents.  Each time Cancemi appeared at the pawn shop to sell stolen jewelry, she presented her New York State driver’s license as identification.

“This aide used her position to take advantage of nursing home residents she knew were vulnerable. We will hold this defendant accountable for stealing from elderly and disabled New Yorkers,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “The value of these items goes far beyond their monetary worth and my office is seeking justice for those impacted by these despicable thefts.”

An investigation began after Cedar Lodge officials reported the items stolen to police. When they checked local pawn shops, they discovered that Cancemi was a frequent visitor during the short time she worked at the Lodge. Residents and family later identified jewelry she sold.

When arrested, Cancemi confessed to stealing the jewelry and was found to be in possession of heroin, the anti-anxiety medication Xanax and Suboxone, a potent drug used to treat opiate addiction. The pills were not contained in prescription bottles.

Cancemi was arrested and charged with one count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony; six counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor; and three counts Criminal Possession of Controlled Substances in the Seventh Degree, which is a class A Misdemeanor. She was arraigned in Suffolk County District Court before Judge Paul Hensley and held on $50,000 bail.  She is due back in court Dec.  7 and faces up to 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

Attorney General Schneiderman would like to thank the Suffolk County Police Department, Seventh Precinct and Property Recovery Unit for their outstanding police work and willingness to work cooperatively.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Veronica Bindrim-MacDevitt of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Hauppauge Regional Office under the Supervision of Regional Director Jane Zwirn-Turkin and Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in Court.

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