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New: Former Berkeley Nursing Home Administrator Suspected of Stealing from Alzheimer’s Patients

By Bay City News
Monday March 22, 2010 - 05:59:00 PM

A former Berkeley nursing home administrator was arrested this morning for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 from elderly patients, including one woman who she allegedly kidnapped and held for nearly a year while cashing her pension and social security checks, state Attorney General Jerry Brown announced. 

Concepcion “Connie” Pinco Giron, 51, was arrested at her home in Richmond this morning on charges of kidnapping to commit another crime, false imprisonment, elder abuse and six counts of theft from an elder or dependent adult by a caretaker, according to a criminal complaint filed in Alameda County Superior Court. 

If convicted of all the charges, Giron could face up to 12 years in prison, according to Brown's office. 

The investigation into Giron's alleged criminal activity began in August when an employee from the Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Berkeley filed a complaint with Richmond police. 

At the time, Giron was working as an assistant administrator at the facility.  

Richmond police forwarded the complaint on to the attorney general’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, according to a spokesman from Brown's office. 

Investigators discovered that Giron had allegedly falsified discharge papers for an 85-year-old women with Alzheimer's dementia saying that the woman was going to be transferred to a different care facility. But instead of taking the woman to a care facility, Giron allegedly took her to her own home, where she kept her for almost a year, from Sept. 10, 2008, to Aug. 31, 2009, according to the complaint. 

During that time, Giron allegedly used the woman's monthly pension and social security checks to pay her own bills, according to Brown’s office. 

The elderly woman, who stayed with Giron until she was taken by a friend to another care facility, was not harmed during the ordeal. 

Investigators also found that Giron had allegedly opened bank accounts for several of her elderly patients and transferred funds from those accounts into her own account. She also allegedly used their ATM cards, wrote checks to herself from patients’ accounts and stole cash from patients’ trust accounts that were being maintained by the nursing home, according to the complaint. 

Giron also allegedly convinced the son of one patient that he needed to pay an additional $600 per month in cash to keep his mother at the facility. The son made cash payments for 18 months, which Giron allegedly pocketed, according to Brown's office. 

Giron was booked into Alameda County jail this morning and is being held on $365,000 bail.