IRWIN (KDKA) — A former health caregiver is facing theft charges in connection with thousands of dollars that was allegedly stolen from an elderly woman over several years in Westmoreland County.
The Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office says Candice Kuhn, of Greensburg, has been charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
Investigators say Kuhn worked as a nurse for the 102-year-old woman from June of 2007 through Nov. 2011.
Mark Palmiero has lived next door to the victim for more than a decade.
“She’s a great lady, she’s a sweetheart,” said Palmiero. “She has a lot of knowledge; she’s 102, so she’s been there, done that.”
He says he first noticed something was off back in 2011 when utility companies would come around and try to shut off his neighbor’s service. He would repeatedly ask them not to do so.
“I was just like any other neighbor would be,” Palmiero said. “I would go down and say, ‘hey, she’s [an] elderly lady, you can’t be shutting her power off, she’s on oxygen and everything else.”
Westmoreland County detectives filed the charges against Kuhn, 40, this week.
KDKA’s Trina Orlando reports Kuhn did not answer the door Wednesday afternoon when we went to her home.
Investigators say Kuhn allegedly stole more than $50,000 from the victim over a several year period that also resulted in overdraft fees.
“You have… over $50,000 was taken over a four-year period, so the scope of the investigation was beyond; we could have worked it, but it would have been a lot of time consumed,” said Chief Joseph Pocsatko, of the Irwin Police Department. “So, we forwarded this investigation to the District Attorney’s Office.”
Authorities say Kuhn would write checks for cash at the S&T Bank in Irwin. She claimed the money was being used for food, but additional checks were being written to grocery stores at the same time.
Kuhn was arrested last Friday and arraigned. Her bond was set at $50,000 unsecured. She has been released.
Kuhn’s preliminary hearing has been set for Sept. 19.
The area agency on aging says financial abuse can be the most difficult to detect. They say if something seems suspicious, don’t wait for others to report it, pick up the phone and call yourself.