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FL woman indicted for stealing nearly $237K from elderly victim

NEWARK, NJ – A former business manager of a Morristown assisted living facility has been charged for allegedly exploiting her position to steal approximately $237,000 from an elderly victim under her care, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Wednesday.

Marcella Drakeford, 45, of Jensen Beach, Florida, is charged with six counts of mail fraud. Drakeford was arrested today and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shaniek M. Maynard in federal court in Fort Pierce, Florida. She was indicted March 16, 2018, by a federal grand jury sitting in New Jersey and is scheduled to be arraigned April 4, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court.

According to the indictment, beginning in December 2016, Drakeford allegedly agreed to help manage her victim’s financial affairs and pay for her care. She was granted limited access to the victim’s checking account. Unbeknownst to victim or the victim’s guardian, Drakeford already had fraudulently gained access to the victim’s credit card account and had several cards issued in her name. Drakeford then used the credit cards for personal expenditures, including clothing, jewelry, and automobiles, dental work, rent, and utilities. Drakeford paid off the credit card bills with checks drawn on the victim’s checking account, all without permission. Drakeford allegedly defrauded the victim of approximately $237,000. 

Each count of mail fraud with which Drakeford is charged carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the scheme.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook