A home health aide was convicted of stealing nearly a million dollars from her elderly Forest Hills charge, the Queens District Attorney said Wednesday.
Jackie Pokuwaah, 53, of the Bronx, was convicted of five counts of grand larceny and possession of stolen property.
According to District Attorney Richard Brown, Pokuwaah worked for Forest Hills resident Renee Fuld, an 86-year-old woman who is confined to a wheelchair. As an employee, she began managing Fuld's finances, and started writing herself checks to pay for Fuld's personal items like groceries and laundry. What Pokuwaah was not telling her employer was that the checks were cashed for inordinately large amounts of money. One such check, for $1,800, was noted as being for "ice cream."
The checks and Fuld's money regularly disappeared over the course of four years from 2007 to 2011.
“Home health aides are welcomed into the homes of the most vulnerable in our society. It is essential that they not use their position of trust to victimize those in
their care as was done in this case," Brown said. "The defendant used her influence over the victim to systematically steal her life savings. She must receive a lengthy prison sentence both as punishment and to serve as a warning to those who would target the weak or the elderly.”
Brown said that Fuld's bank began to grow suspicious of the large checks being written on a regular basis.
Pokuwaah will face sentencing on May 22.