NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


February 13, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

FORMER CATHOLIC CHARITIES WORKER INDICTED FOR STEALING FROM INCAPACITATED CLIENTS

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the indictment of Wanda Wilson, 53, on multiple counts of theft and fraudulent misappropriation in connection with her employment with Associated Catholic Charities, a public welfare organization that provides services to vulnerable adults in Baltimore Cityís Adult Protective Services program.. When the thefts were discovered by Catholic Charities, they conducted an internal audit and referred the matter to authorities. The charges grew out of a joint investigation by the Department of Human Resourcesí Inspector Generalís Office and Curranís Criminal Investigations Division.

Wilson, of Tregarone Road in Timonium, is charged with stealing money from eight clients whose care she supervised as a licensed social worker between 1997 and 1999, when her thefts were discovered and she resigned her position. The charges were returned by the Baltimore City Grand Jury. Arraignment of the indictments will be on March 8, 2001 at 9 a.m. in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

In announcing the charges, Curran stated that the investigation is one of several his office is conducting as part of an office-wide initiative to protect the rights of senior citizens. He stressed his role in representing the most vulnerable of victims of both physical and financial abuse - namely, the elderly and the sick. The initiative has already led to the filing of charges several weeks ago against a Dorchester County social worker, Johanne Nibblett, for stealing money from four of her Adult Protective Services clients. Curran indicated that he expects additional cases to be filed in other jurisdictions in the near future.

In September, Attorney General Curran announced Project S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation), a training partnership with the Department of Aging, Department of Human Resources and Maryland Bankerís Association, which targets the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

An indictment is merely a charge of criminal activity, and a Defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted on todayís charges, Wilson faces a total of 160 yearsí incarceration, $8000 in fines and restitution.

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