Attorney General Bonta Announces Sentencing of Caretaker on Charges of Financial Elder Abuse at Assisted Living Facilities in San Diego County
The chain of thefts committed against seven elderly victims resulted in a total loss of approximately $18,000
OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the sentencing of Nema Mohamed for committing elder abuse against seven victims while working as a caregiver at two separate assisted living facilities in San Diego County. Mohamed was sentenced in the San Diego County Superior Court. The Court denied Mohamed's request for probation and sentenced her to four years of local county prison. This is Mohamed’s third conviction for financial elder abuse and related crimes. In her previous convictions, she was sentenced to a five-year term of probation, which barred her from working with the elderly. Through coercion, Mohamed used her sister's identity in order to again obtain employment working with senior citizens. Once hired, Mohamed used her position as a caregiver to enter into victims' rooms and steal their IDs, credit cards, and cash. On May 26, 2021, Mohamed pleaded guilty to four felonies, including financial elder abuse, fraudulent use of access card information, grand theft, and theft of identifying information with a prior conviction.
“Stealing from senior citizens doesn’t only rob them of their cash, it robs them of their independence and endangers their overall financial health,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This sentencing is a step towards justice for those whose money and belongings were stolen from them. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to protect our elders, and all other vulnerable communities, against financial exploitation.”
Between 2018 and 2019, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) received multiple referrals from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department regarding several residents living at La Vida Del Mar in Solana Beach, and Wesley Palms Senior Living in San Diego who reported having money and checks stolen from their rooms. A 20-month investigation confirmed that Mohamed was employed at the assisted living facilities during the time of each reported crime, and was responsible for the thefts. During her employment at the two assisted living facilities, Mohamed stole cash, checks, and multiple credit cards, using them to buy merchandise from numerous retail stores. The stolen checks were fraudulently cashed. Mohamed was eventually arrested on a $200,000 warrant and remained in custody up to her sentencing hearing.
The criminal investigation into Mohamed was conducted by DOJ's Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (DMFEA) in collaboration with DOJ’s Bureau of Gambling Control, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, and the San Diego Police Department. Through DMFEA, the Attorney General’s Office works to protect Californians by investigating and prosecuting those who perpetrate fraud on the Medi-Cal program. DMFEA also investigates and prosecutes those responsible for abuse, neglect, and fraud committed against elderly and dependent adults across the state. DMFEA regularly works with whistleblowers, the California Department of Health Care Services, and local law enforcement agencies in its investigations and prosecutions.
A copy of the complaint is available here.
DMFEA receives 75% of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $41,264,032 for federal fiscal year 2020-2021. The remaining 25%, totaling $13,754,675 for fiscal year 2020-2021, is funded by the State of California. The federal fiscal year is defined as October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.