Assisted-living employee charged with theft, exploitation

An employee at an assisted-living facility took nearly $12,000 from her, officials say.
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An office manager at an assisted-living facility in Pinellas County is accused of exploiting an elderly and disabled resident and taking nearly $12,000.

Authorities say Monica Jean Goon, also known as Monica Goon Donnelly, was arrested by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Hernando County Sheriff's Office after an investigation found that Goon had abused her position.

Goon, a 51-year-old Spring Hill resident, faces one count of exploitation of an elderly person, a third-degree felony, and one count of grand theft from a person age 65 or older, a second-degree felony. She faces up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if convicted.

According to a news release, the unidentified 77-year-old victim had been staying at a Nurses Helping Hands assisted-living facility since July 2012. The victim previously had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone treatment. She considered Goon a friend and had asked her to attend to her financial matters while she was hospitalized.

The Medicaid fraud unit launched an investigation into allegations that Goon used the victim's credit and debit cards without permission. Investigators discovered that Goon made roughly $6,000 in unauthorized debit and credit withdrawals. She also used the woman's financial information to write checks payable to herself to make unauthorized purchases in Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties, according to a news release.

Goon was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday, then was released after posting $15,000 bail.

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