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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 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.

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Angie Barone June 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM
You have no idea how often this happens. I work for an elder law attorney, and it is absolutely horrifying how this happens way to often. I have seen many cases where nursing home employees friend the elderly, become their power of attorney, have the elderly change their wills to include the employee. The administration and the families need to keep a better handle on this stuff. And shame on the attorneys that need the bucks and prepare the legal documents.
Angie Barone June 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Cont............ This is undue influence at it's worst! Administration is responsible for taking care of this end of the care, especially for those who have no family.
Tony Sina June 19, 2012 at 07:08 PM
My father recently spent some time here. The staff that tended to him went above and beyond...courteous, warm, friendly, and an amazing help to him. It's a shame that all the good work they do gets eclipsed by a bozo like this.
Linda Molnar June 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM
My father spent over 3 years at Maple Glen before his recent passing. He was very stubborn, and difficult to keep an eye on. I also found the nurses there to be very warm and caring. They were extremely supportive to my family during his hospice care as well. I agree Tony.
Joan June 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM
All nursing homes, not just Maple Glen, should sit down in a meeting upon admission of the patient with the patient's relatives (or trusted representatives) to alert them about financial status checks regularly on the patient. It was a family friend of this victim who discovered the problem. When a patient is discharged, there are staff meetings with the patient's relatives about insurance and other discharge matters, so why not include this matter at the start? I know this from personal experience with an elderly relative. The elderly need personal advocates.
Angie Barone June 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Totally agree with you Joan. What people do not understand is that although patients may receive wonderful care there is always a chance that one bad egg or more could be lurking in the background just waiting to pounce. Everyone should be aware of the risk. Not everyone has a family member there to watch over them; therefore, it is the responsibility of the staff, mainly administration to keep a watch; no matter what their protocol is.
Izabella June 29, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Finally justice was served! I used to work with her in another nursing home and a lot of employees were complaining about money or paychecks "disappearing" from their purses. She befriended one of the doctors and stole over $ 10 000 from her too. She was let go from the nursing but the charges were never pressed. Who knows who else did she steal from during all those years? What a low life scum bag!
Angie Barone June 29, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Wow, how the heck did she get another job in the same field. They are going to need to change their screening protocol somehow. This is very disenchanting, but hey eventually they all get caught. It is the arrogance that keeps them going for so long. Great post from you Izabella. Let it be known. And I will assume that you are one of the lovely people in this field that we all wish for.
Izabella June 29, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Thank you Angie. I can't even look at that picture of her without getting angry. All that misery,hardship and tears she caused. She walked out free because of the goodness of the heart of that Doctor who didn't want to put her in jail. It is so sad, some people have no remorse,no shame, no heart.

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