UPDATE, 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.
Former Healdsburg Senior Living staff member Lillian Mbua has been offered a plea deal in connection with her arrest on suspicion of elder theft, the Press Democrat is reporting.
The newspaper said Sonoma County prosecutors are recommending a non-jail sentence of a maximum of 90 days if she pleads guilty to theft, repays the money and does not work with senior citizens. The article adds that Mbua is scheduled to enter a plea on Tuesday in Sonoma County Superior Court.
To read the article, click here.
UPDATE, 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012.
Lillian Mbua, a former staff aide at Healdsburg Senior Living community, was released on her own recognizance on Nov. 27 from Sonoma County Jail, jail staff confirmed. That was 11 days after her Nov. 16 arrest, when she was booked on felony theft and burglary charges and held on $100,000 bail.
No further information was immediately available on the terms of her release or her schedule of court appearances.
ORIGINAL STORY, 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012.
A 22-year-old Santa Rosa woman will face charges of felony theft from the elderly and felony burglary after Healdsburg Police arrested her for allegedly stealing and cashing $6,000 worth of checks from an 86-year-old resident of the Healdsburg Senior Living community on Grove Street.
Lillian Mbua, a former staff aide at the Healdsburg elderly care community, was released on her own recognizance Nov. 27 from Sonoma County Jail.
Mbua was booked into the jail Nov. 16 after her arrest by Healdsburg Police Sgt. Nick Castaneda following a four-month investigation and fugitive search. She was held on $100,000 bail, Castaneda said.
"We finally found her," he added. Castaneda said Mbua was arrested on her way to a new job at an elderly care facility in Santa Rosa. At the time of her arrest, Mbua was carrying more checks from the 86-year-old Healdsburg resident's account, he added.
"We believe she walked into the victim's room and stole his checkbook," Castaneda said.
Castaneda, who pursued Mbua for four months before finally locating her last month through her Social Security number and state Employment Development Department records, said he has handed the case over to the Sonoma County District Attorney's office for prosecution.
Castaneda said during his investigation, he found video footage of Mbua at "multiple" Wells Fargo Bank branches throughout Vallejo and Santa Rosa cashing checks from the elderly Healdsburg Senior Living resident.
The amount of the checks totalled approximately $6,000, he said.
Castaneda said the case began on Aug. 13, when one of the Wells Fargo branches in Santa Rosa declined to cash a check presented by Mbua that had the name of the elderly resident on it. The bank then sent out an alert to Healdsburg Senior Living officials, Castaneda said.
"The signatures didn't match," he said. Healdsburg Senior Living immediately fired Mbua, and then contacted Healdsburg police.
Castaneda said he tried to follow up on the case, but Mbua had apparently disappeared.
"I met with the bank, and secured a search warrant," he said. "I tried to get hold of the suspect, but didn't find her for three months."
The break apparently came when Mbua had applied for a new job in a different elderly care facility through the state EDD office.
"Her employment license to work in any kind of senior or eldery facility has been cancelled," Casteneda said.
He said Mbua could face up to a year in prison if she is found guilty of the charges.