-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that California Department of Justice agents arrested a former nursing home administrator, Concepcion “Connie” Pinco Giron, 51, of Richmond, who “callously stole” more than $50,000 from six of her elderly patients, one of whom she kidnapped and held for nearly a year in order to take her pension and social security checks.
Giron faces one count each of kidnapping to commit another crime, false imprisonment and elder abuse, and six counts of theft from elder or dependent adults by a caretaker. If convicted, Giron faces up to 12 years in prison. Giron is being held at Alameda County Jail, and bail has been set at $365,000.
“Giron callously stole thousands of dollars from elderly and sick people, even going so far as to kidnap an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s and steal the woman’s social security checks,” Brown said. “This is a shocking case of nursing home abuse and a gross violation of trust.”
In August 2009, agents from Brown’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA) received a complaint against Giron, who at the time was the assistant administrator of Elmwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Berkeley.
Brown’s office began an investigation and discovered that Giron had kidnapped an 85 year-old woman with Alzheimer’s and moved her from the nursing home to Giron’s own home. To kidnap the woman, Giron falsified the discharge paperwork and told her employer that the patient was transferring to a licensed facility. Giron held the victim in her home for almost a year and cashed her monthly pension and social security checks to pay Giron’s own bills and rent. The victim, who was not harmed, was later taken to a licensed facility.
As the investigation continued, agents from Brown’s office also found that Giron had opened bank accounts for several of her patients and had transferred funds from those accounts into her own bank account. Giron wrote checks to herself from the patients’ accounts, used their ATM cards and stole cash from patients’ trust accounts that were maintained by the nursing home.
In addition, Giron convinced the son of a full-time patient that he needed to pay an extra $600 a month in cash to keep his mother in the facility. Giron pocketed these payments, which the son made for 18 months.
In total, Giron stole more than $50,000 from six of her elderly patients and their families.
Brown’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse protects patients in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from abuse and neglect. The Bureau also investigates and prosecutes those who cheat taxpayers out of millions of dollars each year and divert scarce healthcare resources from the needy.
Last year, Brown’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse returned more than $12 million to victims of elder abuse and secured 47 criminal convictions in elder abuse cases. Although elder abuse can take many forms, the majority of cases involve abuses at California’s skilled nursing facilities. Brown’s office uses its civil, administrative and criminal enforcement powers to bring poorly performing care facilities into compliance with federal and state laws.
To report cases of elder abuse, please contact the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse hotline toll-free at 1-800-722-0432 or visit: http://ag.ca.gov/bmfea/reporting.php.