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Nursing home thief pleads guilty

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Attorney General Hector Balderas secured a guilty plea Aug. 15, from a nursing home office manager at rehabilitation center, who stole thousands of dollars from elderly patients who suffered from dementia. Leanne Bennett worked at the Rehabilitation Center of Albuquerque, and between 2012 and 2013, she used her position as office manager to steal more than $30,000 from elderly residents.

Bennett gained access to residents’ checking accounts, ATM accounts and debit cards, and wrote checks to herself and made cash withdrawals from victims’ accounts from ATMs.

Bennett could face up to three years in prison, and will be required to pay more than $44,000 in restitution to the victims. Sentencing is set for Oct. 18.

“It is my office’s highest responsibility to protect vulnerable populations within New Mexico,” Balderas said.

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