FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 3, 2011) – In Hardin Circuit Court Wednesday, 73-year-old Hazel F. Martin of Radcliff pleaded guilty to four counts of knowing exploitation of an adult over $300, after admitting she used her position under a power of attorney to unlawfully take more than $100,000 from the accounts of Marie Farmer, during times when Farmer was hospitalized or in a nursing home. Farmer, who has since passed away, was represented in court by the executor of her estate. The charges carry a possible sentence of five to 10 years on each count.
Iris Hodge, 63, also pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of receiving stolen property under $10,000 and four counts of facilitation to exploitation of an adult over $300. Hodge, also of Radcliff, admitted to facilitating Martin’s thefts through various means, including allowing Martin to deposit various checks written against the victim’s account into Hodge’s own account. The charges against Hodge carry a possible sentence of one to five years.
“The effects of financial exploitation on the elderly can be as devastating as physical abuse,” General Conway said. “Protecting Kentucky’s seniors from abuse, neglect, and financial fraud remain a top priority of mine.”
General Conway also reminds the public to be vigilant when it comes to the abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.
“Our elderly loved ones deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and should be protected from exploitation,” General Conway said. “I urge Kentuckians to use caution and be proactive when seeking assistance for elderly friends and relatives. Know the person who is providing assistance and beware of any ‘new acquaintances’ in an elderly person’s life, particularly if they try to isolate the senior from friends and relatives.”
Additionally, General Conway suggests expert assistance for seniors on a fixed income who are suddenly unable to pay their regular expenses and always consider guardianship or conservatorship through District Court for any person in need of full assistance with the handling of their affairs.
The Commonwealth is recommending a five-year sentence on Hazel Martin, with no objection to probation, provided restitution of more than $100,000 is paid in full before sentencing. The Commonwealth is recommending a two-year sentence on Hodge withheld on pretrial diversion, also conditional upon payment in full of the restitution of more than $100,000, owed jointly with Martin.
The investigation of this case was handled by the Office of the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations, with the assistance of the Kentucky Adult Protective Services (APS) of the Department of Community Based Services. Prosecution of this case was handled by General Conway’s Office of Special Prosecutions at the request of the Hardin County Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Sentencing is set for January 17, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in Hardin Circuit Court.
To report suspected elder abuse, call 1-800-752-6200.