GH woman bilked of $14K

The second of two women charged with embezzlement from an elderly Grand Haven resident pleaded no contest to the charge Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.
Becky Vargo
Feb 26, 2014

 

Latoya Renee Blackshire, 22, of Muskegon faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced March 31.

Kelly Ennenga, 48, of Spring Lake Township is already serving a 120-day jail sentence for her part in the incident. Ennenga was also ordered to pay $9,875 in restitution and put on probation for two years when she was sentenced in December 2013.

Police said the women, who worked for a local in-home health care business, stole about $14,000 from their client. Some of that money has been returned, said Lt. Joe Boyle of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.

“We were made aware through Adult Protective Services, who had been made aware of a possible problem by one of the banking institutions regarding some activities that were suspicious,” Boyle said.

The women were using various accounts belonging to the 80-year-old female victim to withdraw funds, he said.

Tina Butler said her company, Comfort Keepers of Muskegon, was also notified of a possible problem by another caregiver working in the home.

Ennenga was fired in June for “out stepping her bounds,” Butler said. Blackshire was also released from her job.

Butler, who is on the board of the Tri-County Protection Team, said her company conducts annual national background checks on all of its employees.

“We had great references from her,” Butler said of Ennenga. “Nothing came up in her background search.”

Butler said she believes the former employee saw a window of opportunity and took it.

“It was so unfortunate,” she said.

Butler said the embezzlement was concentrated in April and May 2013, when the client began to have problems with her mental situation. Ennenga was taking the client’s debit card and purchasing prepaid credit cards with it, Butler said.

“I was dumbfounded and appalled at the number of businesses who didn’t question these purchases,” Butler said.

Butler said it is important for families to keep a close watch on their loved one’s financial accounts.

Anytime you suspect abuse, call Adult Protective Services’ 24-hour hotline at 877-963-6006.

Comments

thecatsmom

We need to do more extensive background checks. Many people with mental health issues get into elder care and the family has no idea. I would demand a physical and past medical records as these psychological issues are rarely revealed.

LessThanAmused

Assuming I'm reading the article correctly...that Title is WRONG. This woman wasn't bilked out of anything. She was the one doing the bilking, right?
So, that would make her the BilkER, not the BilkEE.

 

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