A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Long Island Senior Center Aide For Attempted Theft Of $10,200 From A Resident In Her Care
Personal Care Assistant Stephanie Benodin Forged And Deposited Check Stolen From 88-Year-Old Resident
Schneiderman: Those Who Prey On The Eldery And Disabled Will Be Held Accountable
HAUPPAUGE – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today the arrest of Stephanie Benodin, a former Personal Care Assistant at the Tuttle Center in Port Washington, for attempting to steal $10,200 from an 88-year-old resident in her care. The center, a retirement community, is part of The Amsterdam at Harborside. Benodin, 25, faces two felony charges and up to seven years in prison.
“The abuse of New York’s elderly citizens, often the most vulnerable among us, will not be tolerated by this office,” Attorney General Schneidermansaid. “This aide and others like her will be brought to justice and should be barred from caring for the infirm.”
According to a criminal complaint lodged against her, Benodin waited until the woman was temporarily admitted to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset to deposit the forged check, which was stolen from the victim’s Tuttle Center home. Benodin, a personal care assistant hired to help her victim with mobility, dressing and dining, was caught on video depositing the forged check last November. It was made out to Benodin’s mother for $10,200 and was deposited into Benodin’s mother’s account.
The check, which Benodin deposited at a Capital One Bank branch in Queens Village, was returned for insufficient funds. An investigation began after one of the elderly victim’s daughters reported the attempted theft. Benodin, who lived in Queens Village, was arrested by the Port Washington Police District.
Benodin, who admitted to depositing the check, is charged with one count of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, and one count of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class E Felony. She was arraigned in Nassau County District Court. She faces up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison if convicted.
Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the Port Washington Police District and particularly Detective Domenico Morrocu for their investigative work.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Megan Gallagher of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Hauppauge Regional Office under the Supervision of Regional Director Jane Zwirn-Turkin, Special Deputy Attorney General Monica Hickey-Martin and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.
The charges are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.