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Three Convictions for Financial Elder Abuse This Week Alone


06/18/2014

On the heels of convicting a defendant of bilking an elderly woman out of over $200,000 earlier this week, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that two more embezzlers who targeted senior citizens have been brought to justice.

64 year-old Clayton G. Schunk of 6464 Willow Drive, Hamburg, pleaded guilty as charged to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree before Acting State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski.  This is the highest charge for which Schunk could have been convicted had he gone to trial.  In other words, the defendant was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Between January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2014, Schunk stole $247,800 from a trust established to benefit his 85 year old mother.  He gained access to the trust by using the power granted to him by a Power of Attorney.  He acknowledged that most of the funds were used to support his gambling habit. Schunk faces a maximum of fifteen years in state prison when he is sentenced on September 25, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. before Justice Michalski. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Candace K. Vogel, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Financial Crimes Bureau. 

Additionally, 48 year-old Kimberly Olive of 77 Halbert Street, pleaded guilty as charged to Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree, Identity Theft in the 2nd Degree, and Grand Larceny in the Third Degree before Justice Michalski.  These are the highest charges for which Olive could have been convicted had she gone to trial.  In other words, this defendant was also prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Between March 26, 2013 through March 21, 2014, while working as a home health care aid, Olive gained the trust of three elderly victims --ages 68, 88 and 89--and abused that trust by stealing their identities to purchase clothing, jewelry, and other personal services. Olive faces up to eleven years in state prison when she is sentenced on September 19, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. before Justice Michalski. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Gary M. Ertel, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Financial Crimes Bureau. 

Earlier this week, DA Sedita announced that Donald E Gubbins pleaded guilty as charged to embezzling $215,121 from the bank account of his 87 year-old aunt who was confined to a nursing home. Gubbins gained access to the account by abusing a Power of Attorney previously granted to him by the victim.

DA Sedita stated: “It is time for the state legislature to pass the Bill, introduced by Assemblyman Robin Schimminger and Senator Patrick Gallivan, to help prevent and combat financial elder abuse. The Schimminger/Gallivan Bill is based upon the recommendations of the New York State White Collar Crime Task Force and there is simply no good reason to continue to dawdle, dither and haggle while our seniors continue to be exploited by this especially low form of swindler.”