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Hagerstown woman admits stealing from adult-care patient

Home health care worker must pay $9,000 in restitution, won't face jail time

Home health care worker must pay $9,000 in restitution, won't face jail time

March 12, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown woman won't serve any jail time after admitting Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to taking money from an older man, now deceased, who had been cared for by the adult-care company she worked for.

Traci Frederick, 42, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of obtaining property from a vulnerable adult, a felony. She received a suspended three-year prison term, and must serve three years of supervised probation, Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III ordered. Boone also ordered Frederick to pay almost $9,000 in restitution.

In exchange for the plea, a theft scheme charge was dropped.

Frederick was working for Adult Care Services Inc., but was not the employee scheduled to care for the victim, Gerald Downs Sr., according to court documents.

A family member had arranged with Frederick to care for Downs one weekend before another worker took over his care.

Although she wasn't assigned to care for Downs, Frederick continued to go to the man's home, Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said in court Tuesday.

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Investigators found numerous checks dated October, November and December 2006 from Downs' bank account transferring money to Frederick and her boyfriend, Richard Dayhoff. One of the checks, payable to Frederick, was for $3,000, according to court records.

Employees of Adult Care Services Inc. were advised not to accept money or other gifts from clients, according to records.

Frederick was to pay $5,000 in restitution to Downs' estate Tuesday, and pay $150 per month until she has paid $8,956, Boone ordered.

The prosecutor had asked the judge to forbid Frederick from continuing her work in home health care because the primary concern was that another older adult would fall victim, Cirincion said. Boone denied the prosecution's request so that Frederick could work to pay restitution.

Frederick has worked in home health care for about 10 years, and never has been in trouble before, said her attorney, George W. Knight.

ยท If anyone suspects a vulnerable adult is being physically or financially exploited, citizens may call 240-420-2222, said David Engle, director of the Washington County Department of Social Services.

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