Stephanie Benodin, 26, pleaded guilty to Attempted Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree in February 2014 before Susan T. Kluewer in Nassau District Court. Benodin, a Queens resident, worked as a personal care assistant at The Tuttle Center, a long-term care retirement community that is part of The Amsterdam at Harborside in Port Washington, New York.
While working at the facility in 2013, Benodin admitted that she took a check from an 88-year-old patient’s checkbook. Benodin then made out a check for $10,000 to her mother and forged the patient’s signature. The former health aide then deposited the check into her mother’s bank account. However, when the elderly woman’s bank notified her family that a check was returned for insufficient funds, the victim’s daughter called the Port Washington Police. According to investigators, Benodin was caught on a bank surveillance camera depositing the forged check into her mother’s bank account.
As part of her plea deal, Benodin will serve two months in jail. She will also serve three years’ probation. In addition, she will be prevented from working with elderly, incompetent, infirm or disabled people for three years starting from the date of her sentencing. Her formal sentencing date is scheduled for April 9, 2014.
Commenting on the arrest, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman stated, “The abuse of New York’s elderly citizens, often the most vulnerable among us, can be criminal–and in this case, it will mean jail time for the perpetrator. This aide and others like her will be brought to justice and should be barred from caring for the infirm.”
A representative from The Tuttle Center hung up on a reporter who called the facility for a comment on the case.