A Long Island woman has been charged with grand larceny for stealing nearing $150,000 from an elderly client, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said Friday in a news release.
Olivia Gordon, 28, of Hempstead has been charged with grand larceny, identity theft and other crimes for allegedly stealing the money from a 90-year-old patient at a Far Rockaway, Queens, rehabilitation center where she worked as the director of social services in 2019.
Gordon also is accused of setting things in motion to make herself the beneficiary of the victim’s $1 million annuity.
"Instead of doing her job and looking out for this elderly woman’s best interest, this social worker allegedly let greed guide her actions," Katz said in the release. " . . .This kind of manipulation and deceit is not only immoral, but criminal and the defendant now faces very serious charges."
Gordon was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge David Kirschner on Thursday night on a complaint charging her with attempted grand larceny in the first degree, grand larceny in the second degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree, identity theft in the first degree and unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree.
Peter Brill, Gordon's Hempstead-based attorney, on Friday night criticized the DA's two-year investigation that did not include interviewing his client. He said the alleged victim was of sound mind when the transactions were made and that she intended Gordon to be the beneficiary of her generosity and that his client has documents to prove it.
"Miss Gordon told the individual that she didn't want the gifts and this person insisted, at which point Miss Gordon, because she has significant student loan debt, acquiesced to the request," Brill said.
He said everything fell apart when the elderly woman returned home and other people got involved who convinced her there had been wrongdoing.
Gordon is due back in court May 4 and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Between March and July of 2019 Gordon was a social worker at a rehabilitation and health care center in Far Rockaway where the victim was a patient. As part of Gordon’s job she had access to the victim’s personal information, including bank account statements and an annuity.
Gordon allegedly began siphoning money from the elderly woman’s bank account. Beginning in May 2019, shortly after attaining access to the victim’s bank documents, Gordon allegedly withdrew $12,996 from the patient’s account. Other withdrawals followed for $2,748; $21,171 and the largest one-time withdrawal of $106,148.
The three smaller sums were paid to the victim's bank and credit card accounts but the largest sum went to pay off Gordon’s student loan account on or about June 20, 2019, the release said.
Brill said the student loan money has been returned to the victim.
On May 7, 2019, the company holding an annuity for the elderly woman received a fax of a beneficiary form from Gordon along with a handwritten note alleging that she was the "caretaker/pseudo grandchild" of the victim. A couple of days later Gordon sent a second fax with a note requesting a distribution of cash. The company did not disburse any money because they were unable to communicate directly with the elderly woman to verify the request.