Woman pleads guilty in Clinton County elder abuse case

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Posted at 1:58 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 13:58:05-04

WILMINGTON, Ohio — A woman accused of taking thousands of dollars from an "elderly" man with cerebral palsy pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Thursday.

The man hired Christine Warkentine to provide in-home care after she represented herself as a formerly licensed practical nurse, though she never actually held an LPN license, authorities said in a news release.

While working for the man, Warkentine fleeced him for more than $50,000 over six months and used his credit card without consent to rack up about $15,000 in charges, authorities said.

Warkentine pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by deception and one count each of misuse of a credit card, telecommunications fraud and failing to report income. She faces as much as 11 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for July 1.

"Those who exploit and victimize older adults through deception and financial exploitation will be held accountable for their actions," Yost said. "We will continue to investigate and prosecute cases of elder abuse to protect the unprotected."

Warkentine's husband, Chad Warkentine, is also charged with telecommunications fraud and taxation fraud in a separate case involving the same victim, authorities said. His trial is scheduled for May 22.