Caretaker accused of taking $500,000 from man

GOLD BEACH andndash; A 57-year-old woman working as a caretaker for an elderly Brookings man was arraigned Monday on charges she stole $500,000 from the man.

Donna F. Lema of Crescent City was charged by a secret indictment handed up by the Curry County Grand Jury on May 10 on three counts of aggravated theft in the first degree, all Class B felonies, and one of criminal mistreatment in the first degree, a Class C felony.

In reading the charges, Judge Jesse Margolis said each of the Class B felonies could be punished by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The indictment says that on the first aggravated theft charge, Lema is accused of stealing money, of the value of $10,000 or more, the property of Gordon Fredrick on or about Feb. 14, 2011. The charge further states that the victim was 65 years of age or older at the time.

The second aggravated theft charge contends that Lema stole money, the value of $10,000 or more, from the same victim on or about June 21, 2011. It further states the amount of loss was more than $50,000.

The third theft charge, which also took place on or about June 21, 2011, says that as a separate act or transaction, the defendant took money of the value of $10,000 from the same victim, and the loss was also more than $50,000.

The criminal mistreatment charge says that between Feb. 14, 2011 and June 21, 2001, that Lema "having assumed the care, custody and responsibility for the supervision of Gordon Fredrick, an elderly person, did unlawfully and knowingly hide money belonging to Gordon Fredrick, consisting of over $500,000."

Margolis set a pretrial hearing for Lema on July 10.

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The Curry Coastal Pilot
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