Cleveland woman accused of stealing nearly $25K from adult day care clients

(St. Peter, MN) – A Cleveland woman is due in court, accused of stealing from clients at an adult daycare in St. Peter.

Karla Ann Schmitz, 39, is charged in Nicollet County Court with three counts of gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

According to the complaint, on May 24, the Chief Operating Officer of the adult foster care center reported to investigators that Schmitz had fraudulently obtained nearly $25,000 from gift cards and by writing unauthorized checks for cash from the accounts of the thirteen victims.

Schmitz had been a Representative Payee for the company from June 2006 to November 2017, according to the complaint.  She managed social security funds for the clients and purchased gift cards so they could make purchases without carrying cash.  The COO told police the center’s practice forbade writing check for cash, but instead should be paid to the order of the client, who would sign the check to withdraw cash.

In November, police interviewed one of the victims, who told police he’d never received $350 in “personal needs” funds from a check written in December 2015, and that the $350 amount was over the maximum he was allowed to have.  Another victim told police her personal needs checks were never over $100, and she’d never received cash from a $225 check-for-cash dated January 12, 2016.

Schmitz was the only person responsible for the financial accounting of the vulnerable adult clients, according to court documents.  Her first court appearance is January 7.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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