WAYNE, N.J. -- New Jersey's attorney general on Thursday called it "reprehensible" and the insurance fraud prosecutor "despicable" that a California woman stole nearly $88,000 from her elderly mother while she was in a Wayne assisted living facility.
Pamela M. Land, 68, of La Canada, CA -- who had been given power of attorney for her mother -- "racked up debt on the elderly woman’s credit cards and drained her bank account to fund shopping sprees and pay [her own] daily expenses," state Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said.
Land's mother, who suffers from dementia, gave her daughter "unfettered access" to make monthly payments from her money to continue her stay at the facility, he said.
From May 2013 to January of this year, however, Land used that money "to make purchases for herself and to pay her own bills," the attorney general said.
"She also used her mother’s credit cards for goods and services she herself received, and used her mother’s money to make payments on those cards, which were eventually closed for non-payment of outstanding balances, according to prosecutors," Porrino said.
“Stealing the life savings of an elderly person is reprehensible, but it’s especially gut wrenching when the crime is committed by the ailing victim’s own daughter,” he said.
Deputy Attorney General Melissa M. Simsen presented the case to a state grand jury that indicted Land on charges of theft and misapplication of entrusted property.
Detective Danielle Han coordinated the investigation under the supervision of Lt. Louis Renshaw, Porrion said.