A nurse at a Commack assisted living facility stole a gold necklace from a 95-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease who was a resident there, the state attorney general said Tuesday.
Jason Battaglia, 32, a licensed practical nurse from North Massapequa, is charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and willful violation of health laws after taking the necklace from the resident of the Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on June 13, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
Battaglia’s case was one of six announced by Schneiderman’s office on Tuesday, all of which were related to exploiting the financial vulnerability of nursing home residents, a news release from Schneiderman’s office said.
The other five people arrested and facing charges were from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx; they stole or secured the personal identity information from patients and used that information to secure cash or credit to which they were not entitled, the attorney general said.
“My office will not tolerate this type of financial exploitation, and we will remain vigilant in ensuring that nursing home resident’s personal and financial information is protected,” Scheiderman said in the release.
Prosecutors said that Battaglia removed two necklaces from the resident’s neck, one gold and the other silver, on June 13.
He subsequently put the silver necklace back onto the resident and left the room with the gold necklace, according to court papers.
Battaglia later returned the gold necklace to a registered nurse and said he found it on the dining room floor, authorities said. He admitted to police that he stole the necklace and only pretended to find and return it, the court document said.
Suffolk County police also found Battaglia in possession of nine hypodermic needles and a spoon containing heroin residue, officials said. He was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Battaglia was arraigned and released on his own recognizance but was due back at Suffolk County First District Court on Tuesday, according to court records. His attorney could not be reached.