Former Retirement Home Employee Charged with Theft

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BERWICK -- Police in Columbia County have charged a former retirement home employee with stealing more than $20,000 from several residents.

Berwick police said Sarah Pineda-Scott, 37, embezzled those funds while she worked at the Berwick Retirment Home.

Berwick police said she is facing charges of forgery and theft after allegedly stealing thousands from 12 residents at the Berwick Retirement Village during the time she worked there.

Pat Stoub lives just a few doors away from Pineda-Scott on East Fifth Street in Berwick. She said she doesn`t know her but can`t believe a person could do something like this.

“I don`t know how anybody can do something like that and like with themselves you know?” said Stoub.

Police said Pineda-Scott was in charge of residents` accounts at the retirement home.

Police said in June, Pineda-Scott admitted to them that over a course of six to nine months, she reportedly opened credit cards in residents` names, cashed their personal checks for more than the amount they asked for and would pocket the difference.

According to police, Pineda-Scott even stole money from accounts of three residents after they passed away, money that was to be turned over to the residents` families.

She also allegedly took money from the home`s safe.

In total, police said Pineda-Scott managed to skim $24,600.

“I don`t know today, you can`t trust people today,” said Berwick resident Margaret Dietterick. “It`s getting terrible. You can`t trust too many people.”

A spokesperson for the Berwick Retirement Village said Pineda-Scott worked there from February 2011 until June of this year after the investigation began.

Police said an internal audit is continuing and the sum of money not accounted for is “bound to change.”

“These old people worked all their life and then end up in a nursing home and get ripped off like that, it`s just not fair,” said Stoub.

Pineda-Scott is free on $50,000 unsecured bail.

She has a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 15.