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Long IslandCrime

DA: Aide gets prison in $170G theft from Queens couple

Chaniesa Simmons, 42, of Central Islip, was sentenced

Chaniesa Simmons, 42, of Central Islip, was sentenced Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, to 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. Photo Credit: SCPD

She was hired to care for a Queens couple, but instead bilked them out of more than $170,000.

After pleading guilty to third-degree grand larceny earlier this month, Chaniesa Simmons, 42, of Central Islip, was sentenced Wednesday to 2 1⁄2 to 5 years in prison, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said. Sentencing included a “confession of judgment” by Simmons to repay $177,722.88, Brown said.

Authorities said Simmons had worked as a home health aide for the Queens coupled, ages 92 and 88, for about five years when the thefts were discovered in December 2016. It was then, authorities said, that Merrill Lynch notified the son, who had power of attorney over the financial affairs of his 92-year-old father, that checks written from a cash-management account appeared to have been forged. Those checks were made payable to Simmons, Brown said.

An investigation resulted in a 41-count indictment against Simmons.

She pleaded guilty to the single count on Aug. 1.

Authorities said the 88-year-old wife of the victim suffers from dementia and needed round-the-clock care, leading to the hiring of Simmons to assist the couple with their daily living needs.

“The victims in this case placed their trust in this defendant and she betrayed them by enriching herself with their life savings,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday.

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