23 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by stclairshorespatch

Health Care Workers Charged With Embezzlement

St. Clair Shores magistrate issues fugitive warrant for woman suspected of bilking elderly resident out of thousands of dollars. A second suspect was arraigned Friday.

A fugitive warrant has been issued for a Chesterfield Township woman who is accused of bilking an elderly St. Clair Shores resident out of thousands of dollars.

The warrant was issued by Magistrate Mark Metry when Kelly Todd, 26, failed to show up on charges of embezzlement of a vulnerable adult—a five-year felony.

St. Clair Shores Det. Margaret Eidt, who investigated the case, says she expects that the Macomb County Fugitive Apprehension Team will find Todd relatively quickly.

“They’re usually pretty quick,” she said. “We know she lives somewhere in Macomb, so it’s just a matter of tracking her down.”

Fredine Walker, 53, a resident of Livonia is also implicated in the case. She showed up for the court date, however, and was arraigned on two counts of embezzlement of a vulnerable adult, a 10-year felony, and stealing or retaining a financial device without consent, a 4-year felony.

Metry gave a $50,000 cash bond, no 10 percent, to Walker who was taken into police custody while her family tries to raise the bond amount. She will be transported to the Macomb County Jail.

Walker and Todd are accused of stealing more than a combined total of $80,000 from William Abke, a 78-year-old wheelchair-bound resident, who welcomed the women into his house as caretakers.

In January 2010, Abke discovered that a chunk of money was missing from his accounts. After a two-year investigation, police found some of the purchases allegedly bought with Abke’s funds and credit cards.

The items were found in Chesterfield Township, Dearborn and Livonia. Furniture purchases were also found in Detroit, Westland and Chesterfield Township. Abke received none of the purchases.

Many of the purchases were charged to credit and debit cards in Abke’s name.

Rickie Emmanuel Ibe, Walker’s attorney, said that he would fight vigorously to prove his client’s innocence.

“She is a good person,” he said. “She is a mother, she is a student and she cares about people. We intend to fight these charges in their entirety.”

Ibe, who said he was hoping for a personal bond for his client, said he was surprised at the amount that was levied on Walker.

“She did the right thing and came to court,” he argued. “She’s not a flight risk. Just because she doesn’t live in St. Clair Shores, it doesn’t mean she’s not part of the community.

“We may not agree with the court, but we respect the court,” he said.

Ibe says he’ll be working to lower the bond amount in the immediate future.

“That is too much money for a student to come up with,” he said.

For her part, Eidt said she was pleased with the high bond amount.

“You never know in these situations,” she said. “But we feel this was an appropriate amount for bail. This is a serious crime.”

Walker’s date for a preliminary examination conference has been set for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 23. Metry said he was hopeful that Todd would be tracked down quickly so both cases could wind their way through the court system together.

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