Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Sentencing of Two Hardin County Women in Elder Exploitation Scheme
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the sentencing of two Hardin County women in connection with the financial exploitation of an elderly Clinton County resident. Full restitution of $118,000 was also collected from 74-year-old Hazel F. Martin and 63-year-old Iris Hodge, both of Radcliff, Ky., as per their guilty pleas.
"Financial exploitation of the elderly can be just as devastating as physical abuse," General Conway said. "I am pleased we were able to collect full restitution for the victim's family. This case should serve as a reminder that the abuse and exploitation of elderly or vulnerable citizens is not tolerated in Kentucky."
With full restitution paid, Hardin Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mark Easton sentenced Martin and Hodge to weekend jail terms in the Hardin County jail over the next 12 months.
The Commonwealth recommended a five-year sentence for Martin, with no objection to probation due to the restitution being paid in full before sentencing, and two-year sentence for Hodge, withheld on pretrial diversion, also due to the payment of restitution. Prosecution of this case was handled by General Conway's Office of Special Prosecutions at the request of the Hardin County Commonwealth's Attorney. The charges against Martin and Hodge were the result of an investigation by the Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations.
Martin pled guilty in Hardin Circuit Court in August of 2011 to four counts of knowing exploitation of an adult over $300 and admitted that she used her position under a power of attorney to unlawfully take more than $100,000 from the accounts of Marie Farmer, while Farmer was hospitalized or in nursing homes. Farmer passed away during the pendency of the case, and was represented in court by the executor of her estate.
Hodge pled guilty to one count of receiving stolen property under $10,000 and four counts of facilitation to exploitation of an adult over $300. Hodge admitted to facilitating Martin's thefts through various means, including allowing Martin to deposit various checks written against the victim's account, into Hodge's own account.
Protecting Against Abuse or Financial Exploitation
General Conway offers the following tips for protecting your elderly loved one from abuse or financial exploitation.
- Know the person who may be providing assistance
- Beware of any "new acquaintances" in an elderly person's life who are unrecognized and who attempt to isolate the elder from friends and relatives.
- A person who is on a fixed income who is suddenly unable to pay their regular expenses may need expert assistance.
- Always consider guardianship or conservatorship through District Court for any person in need of full assistance in the handling of their affairs.
To report suspected elder abuse, call 1-800-752-6200.