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NORTH KINGSTOWNâ€”A North Kingstown woman was arrested this past Friday as the subject of a Rhode Island State Police investigation into her exploitation of an elder. Barbara Flaherty, 49, of 70 Sedgefield Road was apprehended after it was discovered she had stolen over $200,000 from her 88 year-old father, who is currently residing in an assisted living center.
A complaint by Flahertyâ€™s half-sister was filed with RISP in June 2011 regarding funds that were transferred from Flahertyâ€™s fatherâ€™s personal banking accounts on three occasions beginning in December 2008 through May 2011. Flaherty had been named power of attorney for her fatherâ€™s estate in May 2009 after he had a stroke and was subsequently placed full-time in an assisted living home.
The three transactions of approximately $18,000, $53,000 and $131,000 were transferred by Flaherty into her own personal accounts, from which she made payments to the Prout School for her daughterâ€™s tuition and $2,500 to Sweet Pea Village, a daycare center which her youngest daughter attended. Flaherty also spent over $12,000 at local restaurants and stores for personal items, such as groceries.
Flaherty also reneged on payments of approximately $100,000 to the Scalabrini Villa Nursing Home in North Kingstown for her fatherâ€™s care. Major Todd Catlow, Detective Commander at RISP, noted that the case was unique in that the larceny occurred between close family members.
â€śWe see quite a few of elderly exploitation cases,â€ť said Catlow. â€śThat the actual child of the elderly person is [responsible] is rare. Generally, it is a more distant relative, like a nephew, but certainly not the child of the victim.â€ť
Flaherty, who was also arrested for driving on a suspended license in June 2012, has been charged with larceny from a person over the age of 65, exploitation of an elder and access to a computer for fraudulent purposes.
She was released on $10,000 personal recognizance and is scheduled to appear in Providence Superior Court on Aug. 23.