A man was charged with financial elder abuse and forgery after stealing over $500,000 from a 95-year-old woman with dementia living in a senior care facility, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Thomas Chapman Hood, 68, was charged with 19 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of first degree residential burglary to commit larceny and financial elder abuse, and one felony count of theft from an elder, with sentencing enhancement allegations for non- accomplices being present during residential burglary, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and property loss of over $200,000, OCDA said in a press release.
Hood was employed as a part-time assistant to the trustee of the 95-year-old’s bank accounts and worked from the home office of the trustee’s secretary in Orange, prosecutors said.
Hood allegedly stole the check books from the home office on March 1, 2015 while the secretary and homeowner were in the other room, according to prosecutors.
The secretary and trustee did not authorize Hood to use the check books of the 95-year-old, identified as Jane Doe in a press release.
Between March 2015 and Sept. 2016, Hood allegedly forged the trustee’s signature on dozens of checks amounting to $534,850 dollars, according to the OCDA.
He allegedly deposited the unauthorized checks into his personal bank account and used the stolen funds to pay for personal expenses, including credit card bills and a 2-week vacation to Paris, France, prosecutors said.
The fraud was discovered when the trustee attempted to make a payment from Doe’s bank to her assisted living home and was denied due to insufficient funds in October 2016.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated the incident and arrested Hood.
Hood is being held on $534,850 bail and his arraignment date has yet to be set.