State police in the Poconos said a former senior living center employee bilked two elderly residents out of thousands of dollars over the course of several months.
Elizabeth Ruffa, 24, of Brodheadsville was arraigned Wednesday on those felony charges.
State police said the former office manager of Wesley Enhanced Living stole nearly $18,000 from two elderly residents.
Investigators said Ruffa told two women at the senior living center in Monroe County to give her signed blank personal checks and she would pay their bills, including their rent at the center.
Instead, police said Ruffa made those checks out to herself pocketing almost $18,000 between the two residents.
“Unfortunately people like that give us a bad name and it just stinks that they are abused and used like that,” said a man named Josiah who said he is a financial adviser for senior citizens.
Alan Holsman is the director of the center which is located in Chestnuthill Township. He said as soon as he noticed something suspicious, he contacted the authorities.
“Anytime there's any type of suspicion, we immediately remove the employee to start an investigation, both internally, which our company has done thoroughly, as well as working with Department of Public Welfare and the Department of Aging,” said Holsman.
Investigators said the victims, one who is 89 years old, the other who is 86, said Ruffa told them to sign their checks and to leave the rest blank and that Ruffa would fill the rest out for them.
Police said in total Ruffa cashed 12 of the 89 year old's checks, which totaled $13,734.10.
She cashed seven of the 86 year old’s checks, totaling $4,239.47.
Police said none of the money from either victim went to pay for their bills.
Holsman said he has been working to restore what the victims lost.
“They're fine right now because things have been taken care of, both on the financial side, what was missing and we are assuring them that we are going to be working with them and their families,” said Holsman.
Ruffa was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.
She has a preliminary hearing on June 8.