Buffalo-area Nurse Aide Admits To Ripping Off 97-year-old Patient To Pay For Cocaine

Albany, NY (May 22, 2007) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Rebecca Sopko, a Certified Nurse Aide, pleaded guilty today to stealing $8,000 from an elderly resident under her care in order to pay a debt she owed for the purchase of cocaine.

“This criminal, put in a position where she is trusted with a loved-one’s care, stole from an innocent victim to support a drug habit,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “All New Yorkers deserve to feel safe – especially those in nursing homes. My office will fully prosecute those who take advantage of the elderly for nefarious purposes.”

Sopko, 22, of Buffalo, was arrested, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Attempted Forgery in the Second Degree (both class E felonies) before the Honorable M. William Boller in State Supreme Court. She faces a maximum prison term of 1 1/3-to-4 years. Sopko is scheduled to be sentenced September 7.

In February, Sopko stole two blank checks from a 97-year-old resident at The Waters of Orchard Park nursing home, located in Orchard Park. She forged the checks as payable to herself for $2,000 and $6,000 respectively. Sopko admitted to investigators that she used the money to pay off a debt from a cocaine purchase.

Sopko was subjected to a standard background check by The Waters of Orchard Park, which cooperated fully during the investigation. Sopko was summarily terminated from her employment at the nursing home in February.

The victim’s money has already been reimbursed by her bank.