Assisted Living Facility Employee Indicted For Stealing Over $300,000 From Residents

NEW YORK, NY (March 11, 2007) – New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that a Bronx Grand Jury has indicted a former worker at an assisted living facility for abusing her position to steal more than $300,000 from numerous elderly and infirmed residents at the facility.

Frances Landrini, 36, of the Bronx, is charged with three counts of Second Degree Grand Larceny (a class C felony carrying a maximum prison sentence of 5-15 years), one count of Third Degree Grand Larceny (a class D felony), and one count of First Degree Scheme to Defraud (a class E felony).

Landrini worked as a contract employee at the New Fordham Arms Assisted Living Facility in the Bronx, where her duties included assisting residents in paying their bills and conducting financial transactions on their behalf. The indictment and other documents filed by the Attorney General allege that instead of helping residents, Landrini used a variety of deceptions to take their money.

Over the course of two years, Landrini convinced residents to sign blank checks, claiming that she would fill in the rest to pay the residents’ bills. Instead, she made them payable to herself or to “cash,” and either cashed or deposited the checks into her own account. She also stole blank checks from one resident and later duped the resident into endorsing them. In total, Landrini fraudulently obtained and negotiated more than 150 checks from approximately twelve New Fordham Arms residents.

From one victim alone, Landrini stole $195,685. Three others lost more than $50,000, and the remaining residents lost amounts ranging from $475 to $12,335. Landrini also is alleged to have used a resident’s credit card to make ATM withdrawals and make purchases at The Gap, Toys ‘R Us, and Shell Oil.

“This was an obscene breach of trust by an individual who was supposed to help these innocent residents handle their financial affairs,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “My office will do all that it can to obtain justice and compensation for the victims.”

The Attorney General also thanked New Fordham Arms Assisted Living Facility, located on Williamsbridge Rd. in the Bronx, for contacting law enforcement upon discovering the theft and for fully cooperating during the investigation.

The charges against Landrini are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Lisa Biersay and Emily Rowe, under the supervision of Richard Harrow, Director of the New York City Region of the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The investigation was conducted by Senior Special Investigator Arelis Restituyo, under the supervision of Supervising Special Investigator Thaddeus Fisher, and by Associate Special Auditor Investigator Nicholas Thottam, under the supervision of Principal Auditor Investigator Richard Porto.