Fairfield County resident Chantel Chenault, age 46, of Danbury, was indicted on multiple charges on Friday, March 24 for stealing from the elderly woman under her care in Westchester, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.
According to officials from James's office, Chenault became the woman's caseworker in 2017 and was employed with the Westchester County Adult Protective Services. As part of this role, it was her duty to arrange home health aides from a third-party provider to provide care for the woman as her physical and mental health declined.
However, between March 2017 and April 2022, Chenault transferred more than $500,000 from the woman's retirement accounts into her checking account, and would then bring her to a bank to make multiple withdrawals a month, officials said.
Additionally, Chenault would allegedly often use the woman's ATM card at casinos without her permission.
Chenault's alleged actions were discovered when she went on medical leave in March 2022 and the woman's new caseworker noticed that there had been a large drop in her assets in only a few months.
Further investigation then revealed that the 95-year-old's bank and retirement accounts had been completely depleted and she could no longer afford home health care as a result.
As a result of these discoveries, a forensic audit was conducted, which found a pattern of suspicious withdrawals and transfers in addition to the use of her ATM card during periods of time in which she was homebound.
Ultimately, Chenault was found to have allegedly stolen more than $300,000 from the victim.
Chenault was arranged in Westchester County Court on Friday and is charged with the following:
- Second-degree grand larceny;
- Third-degree grand larceny;
- First-degree identity theft;
- Official misconduct.
Chenault will next appear in court on Thursday, June 15.
James commented on the case, saying, "Chantel Chenault used her position as a caregiver to steal from someone who trusted her and who couldn’t protect herself."
"This betrayal harmed the victim and harmed the reputation of the Westchester County Adult Protective Services. All New Yorkers deserve safe and secure services to support autonomy later in life," she continued.
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