Update: Amount Taken in Alleged Nursing Home Con Exceeds $29K
The admissions director of a Fair Lawn nursing home has been charged with theft in connection with alleged looting of an 82-year-old man's bank account.
Maywood police Detective Sgt. Mark Gillies said Tuesday that police continue to discover additional credit card purchases allegedly made by a Maple Glen Center employee who they say conned an elderly nursing home resident out of thousands of dollars after gaining access to his bank account.
Kye Giacalone, 31, the nursing home’s admissions director, was charged Friday with theft of entrusted funds, theft by deception and four counts of theft by credit card, Maywood police said. Originally estimated at $29,000, the total amount allegedly stolen by Giacalone has grown as the investigation proceeds and additional charges are pending, Gillies said.
Giacalone, of Lodi, allegedly befriended the 82-year-old former Maywood resident and gained power of attorney in Sept. 2010, which she used to open credit cards in the man’s name, police said. She then took money from the victim’s account to purchase personal items with the credit cards, even after the man moved out of Maple Glen Center and into another nursing home, police said.
A family friend of the victim tipped off police after noticing money had been taken from the man’s bank account, Gillies said.
Maple Glen Center’s acting administrator, Lauraine Harrison, said she had not suspected any wrongdoing before police came to the center Friday to arrest Giacalone.
“We weren’t aware of any of this,” Harrison said. “When we found out, we suspended her immediately and launched our own investigation.”
Citing privacy laws, Harrison declined to release the length of time Giacalone had worked at Maple Glen Center, but said she did not have regular direct contact with nursing home residents.
All Maple Glen Center employees are subject to a background check, Harrison said.
Gillies said he did not know whether the bank accounts of any other Maple Glen Center residents had been compromised, but noted that as residents who had regular contact with Giacalone look into their own finances, additional abnormalities may come to light.
Giacalone is scheduled to be arraigned in Maywood municipal court at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.