GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police say an 88-year-old woman, who died in April, was the victim of embezzlement and prosecutors say the suspect is the victim’s own niece.
Esther Nadolski died just four days before police issued arrest warrants for her niece Patricia Licari. She is charged with embezzlement of a vulnerable adult. She could serve 10 years in prison if convicted.
By all accounts, Esther Nadolksi had lived a full life. She had long ago retired and moved into a home on Grand Rapids northwest side. It was comfortable for her and it was convenient; her niece Patricia Licari lives just a few doors down.
As she aged and dementia set in, Esther gave her niece power of attorney over her bank accounts, which police say was a mistake. The report from GRPD says under Pat Licari’s stewardship, Esther Nolski’s bank accounts began to dwindle. The report says more than $75,000 is unaccounted for.
Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker says he believes incidents like this are only going to rise.
The National Center on Elder Abuse says that the fastest growing segment of population is those over 85. The agency says that in 2010, there were 5.8 million people in the age group ’85 or older’. That number is expected to be more than 19 million by 2050.
“That’s what we are trying to do with our Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition is to get the word out. Pay attention to others; your neighbors, your friends. I know some but other seniors know people their own age and are going to be able to say ‘Geez, I haven’t seen Frank at church in the last three weeks. I wonder what is going on?’ Well, check up on him,” Chris Becker said.
The Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition has an upcoming free event for seniors on June 10th about how to protect yourself and your loved ones. You can find out more about the coalition here: http://www.protectkentseniors.org/