Posted on: December 13, 2021, 06:30h.
Last updated on: December 13, 2021, 11:12h.
A Wisconsin home care aide spent nearly $140,000 at gaming properties from money she allegedly stole from an elderly woman. The defendant recently was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration. She also must pay back almost $303,000 to the 70-year-old victim.
Kassie A. Wujkowski, 29, of Arbor Vitae will also be placed on extended supervision for 18.5 years after she is released from confinement. The sentence was issued after Wujkowski pled guilty last month to two counts of theft greater than $10,000.
A state investigation revealed that between October 2017 and October 2019, Wujkowski completed 1,324 financial transactions using the victim’s credit cards. They totaled $313,774.
Wujkowski also paid herself and her family over $80,000, prosecutors claim. Wujkowski’s salary was supposed to be $1,250 a month.
She also allegedly used over $20,000 of the money to pay her own credit card bills. In total, over $400,000 was stolen from the victim, prosecutors added.
The case was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI). It was prosecuted by the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office.
Elder Fraud Growing Problem
In October, a Connecticut lawmaker was arrested on a federal wire fraud charge. He allegedly stole more than $600,000 to fund his gambling excursions.
Connecticut Rep. Michael DiMassa (D-West Haven) recently appeared before US District Court Judge Sarah Merriam before being released on $250,000 bail. His next court appearance is on March 10.
Under the scheme, DiMassa formed an entity called Compass Investment Group LLC. He allegedly used the company to steal COVID-19 relief funds from the city of West Haven. In addition to being a state lawmaker, DiMassa has been a West Haven city employee for 12 years, and was the administrative assistant to the West Haven City Council.
In that role, DiMassa likely had access to the $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief money the US government supplied the Connecticut town through the CARES Act, prosecutors said.
“Elder fraud and exploitation is a growing problem, with an estimated $77.8 million lost annually in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said in a recent statement. “It is also a vastly underreported crime.”
Defendant Allegedly Used Money at Mohegan Sun
DiMassa made numerous withdrawals from Compass. Much of that money went toward his gambling trips to the Mohegan Sun tribal casino in Eastern Connecticut, prosecutors added.
He frequently visited Mohegan Sun, where he allegedly purchased large amounts of gaming chips.
In May alone, he allegedly purchased $57,600 in casino chips.