For release on March 9, 2012   CONTACT PERSON:
Cherie Bourlard, Deputy District Attorney
Elder Financial Abuse Unit/Economic Crimes Group
(408) 792-2519   TWO CAREGIVERS SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR STEALING $171,256 FROM ELDERLY WOMAN   On March 8, 2012, 30-year old Selu Mataele  and 55-year old Ane Pailate, both from East Palo Alto, were sentenced to 11 months in jail and 5 years probation, after being convicted of felony charges of Theft from an Elder in Santa Clara County Superior Court.   The criminal charges were the result of an investigation by the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Elder Financial Abuse Unit. After returning from the hospital, the 82-year old victim hired defendant Mataele as a daytime caregiver through a private care agency.  Later, the victim hired defendant Mataele privately away from the care agency. She also hired Mataele’s aunt, defendant Pailate as a caregiver for extra help.   A few years later, the victim’s daughter was reconciling the victim’s check book and became suspicious that the victim was writing checks for greater than the amount owed the two caregivers. The victim signed blank checks and told the defendants to write in the amounts owed to them. The defendants took advantage of this trust and instead penned in exorbitant amounts not owed them. The daughter initially reported to the police that she believed the overage amount was about $10,000.  After the District Attorney’s Office obtained all of the victim’s records, it was discovered the loss amount was actually $171,256, over an approximate three year period.  Thus far defendant Mataele has repaid $20,000 and defendant Pailate has repaid $6,000 to the victim. As a part of the terms of their probation, the defendants were ordered to pay the remaining restitution to the victim. Their case is now set on the Santa Clara County Superior Court’s Restitution Review Calendar.    ###

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