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Queens Chronicle

Health aide indicted for $50,000 in theft

Alleged victim is patient with dementia

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:39 am, Thu Aug 8, 2013.

Tameka Nunes, a home health aide, was indicted July 25 for stealing approximately $55,000 from her patient, a 98-year-old Forest Hills woman suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nunes, 31, of the Bronx systematically withdrew hundreds of dollars from the victim’s JP Morgan Chase bank account on an almost daily basis using an ATM. The majority of the transactions occurred at the Chase branch located at 100-12 Queens Blvd., near the victim’s home.

According to the investigation, Nunes worked as a home health aide for the victim — whose name is not being released — from May 31 to Nov. 1, 2011.

District Attorney Richard Brown said that the withdrawals from the victim’s account resulted in the opening of a fraud investigation by JP Morgan Chase, whose investigator referred the matter to the New York City Human Resource Administration’s Adult Protective Services.

A psychiatrist from the New York City Office of Health and Mental Service examined the victim in 2011 and diagnosed her with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The bank investigator allegedly spoke with Nunes over the phone and was told by her that the victim authorized the withdrawals.

According to a release from the DA’s office, after the phone call, she immediately resigned her position as the victim’s home healthcare attendant.

The bank video surveillance allegedly showing the defendant withdrawing funds from the victim’s account was enough evidence for detectives to arrest Nunes.

She was charged with second- and third-degree grand larceny and second- and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Nunes was held on $15,000 bail and was ordered to return to court on Sept. 13. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 15 years in prison.

— Tess McRae

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