NEWARK, NJ – The former business manager of a Morris County assisted living facility was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison for stealing approximately $237,000 from an elderly victim under her care, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Marcella Drakeford, 46, most recently of Fort Pierce, Florida, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to Count One of an indictment charging her with mail fraud, Carpenito said.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, beginning in December 2016, Drakeford 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 the 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 luxury clothing, jewelry, 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, according to documents filed in the case and statements made in court.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hayden sentenced Drakeford to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution of $237,258.