June 20, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
CONVICTED OF STEALING CHECKS
FROM ELDERLY GALENA MAN
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and Kent County State's Attorney Robert
H. Strong, Jr., jointly announced today that Maragaret Wilson,68,
of Chestertown, was convicted Thursday by Kent County Circuit Court
Judge Frederick Price of stealing a $50,000 check and a $950.00
check from an elderly man in her care.
was charged in December 2002, with stealing the checks from H. Lee
Russell, now deceased, of Galena, Maryland. The thefts are alleged
to have occurred between April and July, 2001. Russell died the
following month, on August 10, 2001, at the age of 90. Wilson was
also charged with failing to file State income tax returns for the
years 1999 through 2001.
exploitation of the elderly is a serious problem and one which my
Office commits significant resources to combat," Attorney General
Curran said. "Sadly, often it is a family member or friend'
of the victim who is preying on his or her vulnerability."
has been set for August 1, 2003. The maximum sentence for felony
theft is 15 years and a $1,000 fine. The maximum for failure to
file a State income tax return is five years and a $10,000 fine.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed
innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
matter had been referred to the Attorney General's Office by the
Kent County Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Services.
the Office continues to aggressively prosecute cases of financial
exploitation, it also utilizes educational strategies to combat
the abuse. In 2000, Attorney General Curran developed project SAFE
(Stop Adult Financial Exploitation), a public-private partnership
that trains personnel in financial institutions how to detect and
report evidence of financial exploitation.
more information on Project SAFE and avoiding becoming a victim
of financial exploitation, log on to the Attorney General's web
and click on publications.