Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that Kathryn Christopher, 67, of Everett, was found guilty recently on a charge of obtaining a signature by false pretense. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Thomas Billings sentenced Christopher to 5 years probation with conditions to include that she not work with/ care for anyone over the age of 65.
“This was a calculated case of fraud,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Kathryn Christopher was in a position of trust and she profited from that role by swindling a senior citizen who was experiencing medical issues. From the very beginning, Christopher exploited someone who was vulnerable, someone without her family nearby and who was having significant memory loss issues. Thankfully, Christopher was finally discovered and arrested.”
Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin added, “The Belmont Police Department is pleased at the outcome of this case. It was a concerted effort on the part of detectives and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office to get this verdict and we feel that justice has been served.”
Evidence presented during the trial, which began on March 10, showed that Christopher, the former home care coordinator for the Council of Aging in Belmont, stole from an elderly woman with dementia over the course of several years. The fraud began shortly after Christopher met the victim in 2003, when the victim was referred to Christopher’s office due to the victim’s medical state, which sometimes left the victim confused and unsure of her memory. Christopher’s role was to follow up on the referral and establish services for the victim’s needs. Instead, Christopher assigned herself the role of taking care of the victim, which was a violation of Council of Aging policy.
Evidence presented during trial showed how Christopher took advantage of the elderly woman who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. First, Christopher had the elder change her will, leaving Christopher as the main beneficiary. Soon thereafter, Christopher had the victim sign a mortgage days after being released from the hospital in which the victim was declared incompetent. The money from the mortgage was used to open a joint banking account for the intended purpose to care for the victim, but Christopher used that money to benefit herself and family. Finally, another mortgage was signed in October of 2006, after the victim was released from the hospital and in a rehabilitation facility. At the time, the victim was not verbal.
This case was investigated by the Belmont Police Department.
The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office Elder/Disabled Unit has a dedicated phone line for any questions or inquiries. The number is 781-897-8420.