CLEARFIELD-A former employee of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging accused of taking thousands of dollars from an elderly woman pleaded guilty Tuesday during plea and sentencing court in Clearfield County.
Jodie Lorraine Yarger, 45, Brisbin, pleaded guilty to five counts each of forgery and theft by unlawful taking. She was sentenced to 60 days to one year in jail and four years consecutive probation. A condition of the plea agreement was that she pay $10,000 of the restitution prior to sentencing. She owes and additional $2,536. She is prohibited from being employed as a social worker.
The charges stem from incidents that occurred between Jan. 2005 and Sept. 2010. During this time Yarger was employed by the CCAAA as Director of Long Term Care Services. She was hired in Dec. 1999.
Prior to sentencing Judge Fredric J. Ammerman stated that he had received a letter from the victim’s children which “paints a pretty pathetic picture”. Yarger was trusted and she stole the victim’s money. What made it worse, Ammerman noted was that she was working for the CCAAA at the time.
Yarger apologized, explaining this was “the biggest regret of my life”.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, in July 2005 the victim was deemed unable to care for herself and was placed in a dementia unit of a nursing home. A court order made CCAAA her plenary guardian.
An investigation began after an attorney for the victim received a letter from a collection agency requesting information about the victim’s estate. The agency had a debt of over $1,500 from a credit card in the victim’s name. The address listed on the account was actually the address of CCAAA.
The collection agency had spoken with someone they were told was the victim’s daughter at a cell phone number registered to Yarger. As they tried to collect the debt, Yarger promised payment would be made and later told them the victim was deceased. She verified the last four digits of the victim’s social security number and said she would take care of the debt.
Because of this incident, employees of CCAAA began to look into the victim’s other accounts and discovered Yarger had written out several checks on a bank account and used electronic checks to pay for things. She also took out a loan on the victim’s life insurance policy for over $6,000. It is believed that Yarger obtained the victim’s check book when her personal possessions were taken to the CCAAA.