In an effort to combat abuse and fraud to seniors, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced on Monday the formation of a special prosecution team dedicated to dealing with such offenses.
The announcement was made less than two weeks after two women who were workers at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea hospital were arrested on suspicion of credit card theft, fraud and forgery involving an elderly patient at the hospital. It also came on the day one of those women was indicted.
Sylvia Cubit, 40, a phlebotomist who also worked at Chandler Regional Medical Center, and Nancy Adame, 34, were arrested by Scottsdale police on Feb. 3 after a 79-year-old woman who was a patient at Scottsdale Healthcare was contacted by her bank about suspicious activity on her checking account. The woman then realized that charges had been made on her card and checks had been cashed without her knowledge.
Both Cubit and Adame are accused of taking the woman’s credit cards and checks from her purse on separate occasions while she was a patient at the hospital, and apparently they did not know what either had done, according to the county attorney’s office.
Cubit admitted to the crime, Scottsdale police said.
The county attorney’s office also announced Monday a 10-count indictment of fraud, theft and elder abuse charges against Janice Lindahl, 58, of Phoenix, who allegedly fleeced a 91-year-old neighbor suffering from Alzheimer’s disease out of $200,000.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said of the recent incidents: “Senior citizens have a right to be protected from fraud and abuse. In these financial times, we must be especially vigilant to protect those who might be targeted for cons and swindles.”