Channel Francis Allegedly Added Her Identifying Information To The Credit Card Accounts Of Multiple Nursing Home Residents And Used Their Credit To Purchase Items Including Handbags And Electronics
NEW YORK – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictment and arraignment of Channel Francis, 40, of Rosedale, on charges related to her fraudulent use of credit cards in the names of three elderly residents of the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation in Queens.
“It is unconscionable for someone to exploit vulnerable and elderly nursing home residents for personal financial gain,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “Those who seek to defraud New Yorkers will be held accountable.”
In papers unsealed today in New York State Supreme Court, Queens County, prosecutors allege that the defendant stole the identities of the three nursing home residents. In the fall of 2013, family members of three elderly residents of Parker Jewish reported unauthorized purchases on their loved one’s credit cards. After reporting the fraudulent purchases to the credit card companies, the New York City Police Department, and the New York State Department of Health, the case was referred to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).
Prosecutors allege that the defendant used the elderly victims’ credit to purchase luxury items such as iPads, computers, high definition televisions, and designer handbags, among other items. Video surveillance recorded the defendant using credit cards inside of multiple stores at times that credit card records reflect the use of the victims’ credit cards. The defendant also used an e-mail address which contained her name when making internet purchases, and she had items shipped to her home. Francis was able to receive the information from an employee who worked at nursing home.
A Grand Jury sitting in Queens County returned an indictment against Francis charging her with three counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, and two counts of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony. The defendant pled not guilty when arraigned before Justice Barry Kron of the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County. If convicted, Francis could face up to twenty-one years in state prison.
The Attorney General encourages New Yorkers to check credit card and bank statements carefully for any unauthorized activity. Consult the Attorney General’s full tips to protect against Identity theft.
The Attorney General would like to thank the New York State Department of Health, the New York City Police Department, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, and Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation for their assistance and cooperation in this investigation.
The case was investigated by Investigator Zahraa Majeed and Supervising Investigator Ronald Lynch with the assistance of Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. Auditor Investigator Lisandra Defex conducted the financial analysis with the assistance of MFCU New York City Regional Chief Auditor Investigator Thomasina Smith.
Special Assistant Attorneys General Jonathan S. Reiner and Felicia L. Berenson-Reinhardt are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Confidential Legal Assistant Daniel Herzog and MFCU New York City Deputy Regional Director Twan V. Bounds and Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O’Hanlon is the MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney.
The charges filed in this case are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
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