FORMER HOME HEALTH AIDE CONVICTED OF STEALING MORE THAN $260,000 FROM 99-YEAR-OLD WOMAN
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of STEPHANY HERNANDEZ, 25, a former home health aide, to 1 ½-to-4 ½ years in state prison for stealing more than $260,000 from an elderly woman she previously cared for on the Upper East Side. On July 28, 2016, the defendant pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to the only charge in the indictment against her, Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. As part of the sentence, the court executed judgment orders, holding HERNANDEZ liable to repay more than $260,000.
“Stephany Hernandez stole a quarter of a million dollars from her elderly employer to fund luxury shopping sprees and tropical vacations,” said District Attorney Vance. “Too often, financial exploitation of seniors goes unreported, leaving perpetrators free to move on to their next mark. I thank the elderly victim in this case for her bravery and her family members for reporting these crimes to my Office. I encourage anyone who believes that an older friend, relative, or loved one may be the victim of this type of fraud to call our Elder Abuse Hotline at 212-335-9007.”
As admitted in the defendant’s guilty plea, HERNANDEZ worked as a home health aide for a now 99-year-old woman and her now-deceased husband at the couple’s residence on East 68th Street. Between February 2014 and March 2015, the defendant stole more than $260,000 from the elderly woman by depositing and cashing 102 forged checks.
HERNANDEZ used the stolen funds to pay for personal expenses, including more than $35,000 in personal credit card payments; more than $100,000 in cash withdrawals; more than $18,000 on clothing and accessories from Bloomingdales, Barneys, and other retailers; and approximately $12,000 on airfare and hotels, including flights to Miami and the Dominican Republic.
After the victim’s husband passed away at the age of 100 in January 2015, the victim’s son and daughter-in-law discovered the theft while reviewing financial records, and reported it to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Assistant District Attorney Laura Wexler handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Catherine Christian, Chief of the Elder Abuse Unit; Gloria Garcia, Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Archana Rao, Principal Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Michael Sachs, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Elder Abuse Unit Coordinator Melanie Chan, Financial Investigator Miriam Bouchma, Investigative Analyst Lauren Gunther, and Detective Simon Chan of the Detective Squad of the New York City Police Department at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office also assisted with the case.