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Judith Marie Eakins, 53, of Wheat Ridge, was in court this week to be sentenced for stealing over $32,000 from her 92-year-old mother, Dorothy Morvay, who was living in a nursing home. Dorothy Morvay suffered from advanced dementia. Judith Eakins could act on her mother’s behalf with a designated medical and financial power of attorney. In 2009, Judith Eakins moved her mother to a retirement community with nursing care. She completed the Medicaid paperwork and other documentation which provided that Dorothy Morvay’s social security payment and pension income would go to the nursing facility to pay for her care. Beginning in March, 2011 Judith Eakins stopped the payment of Dorothy Morvay’s income to the nursing facility. Eakins deposited Dorothy’s social security and pension income into her own bank account and used the money for her personal expenses. Judith Eakins put her mother in the nursing home without telling her brother. She then claimed to be an only child, listing her brother as a relative who was to have “no contact” with Dorothy. Not knowing any differently, the care facility complied with Judith Eakins’ request. Judith Eakins’ brother was so concerned when his mother disappeared that he filed a missing persons report with Wheat Ridge police. When police located Dorothy in the nursing home they told him that she was safe but that they could not tell him where she was living and that he could not have contact with her. By the time Westminster police began investigating the theft charges and learned that Judy Eakins wasn't an only child, and that she had a brother. Dorothy’s dementia was so bad that she didn't recognize her son when he went to see her. Dorothy passed away in March. In February, 2012 the healthcare administrator at the retirement community where Dorothy Morvay was living contacted Westminster police to report the theft. Investigators presented the case to the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit and charges were filed against Judith Eakins. On December 17, 2012 Eakins pled guilty to Attempted Theft of an At-Risk Person over $500 (F4). At the sentencing hearing on April 8, prosecutors asked for a prison sentence. Eakins was sentenced to six years probation with six weeks in the work release program. “This is a tragic case that illustrates why our Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit is so valuable to the community,” said District Attorney Peter Weir, “These cases may appear to be civil, but often they are not. In this situation, Judith Eakins stole the last good years of her mother’s life and kept her isolated from family. We were not able to reunite mother with son before Dorothy’s disease advanced, but we are able to hold Judith Eakins responsible for her conduct.”
April 10, 2013
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