Feb. 23—BRATTLEBORO — A former caregiver for an 88-year-old Brattleboro man is accused of embezzling $225,000 from him over roughly three years, police say.
Laura A. Hatfield, 42, of Brattleboro is charged with one count of embezzlement in the Windham Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court. Hatfield was issued a citation Feb. 9, according to a news release Monday from the Brattleboro Police Department.
According to the affidavit in the case written by Brattleboro Detective Sgt. Greg Eaton, Hatfield obtained power of attorney for the man in July 2013. In an interview with police last February, the man said Hatfield used to be his next door neighbor before he moved into an assisted living facility where Hatfield worked, according to the affidavit.
Hatfield had the man's power of attorney until October 2016, Eaton wrote in the affidavit. Police subpoenaed bank records, and found that Hatfield transferred a total of $167,495.36 from man's accounts into her account in the time she held his power of attorney.
Police also had the man review a list of bank transactions during the time Hatfield had his power of attorney, and he identified about 300 transactions that he did not make, totaling roughly $57,500. These charges included numerous flights, as well as hotels and restaurants in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts, according to the affidavit.
The man told police, however, that "other than the occasional dinner, he didn't really do anything with Hatfield," Eaton wrote in the affidavit. The man also told police he did not take any trips outside of New England while Hatfield held his power of attorney, and said he didn't know about any of the out-of-state charges on his accounts.
The man was granted Hatfield's power of attorney in 2016, and the subsequent holder of that power noticed the potential misuse of funds when he applied for Medicaid. The current power-of-attorney holder, Brattleboro lawyer Amelia Darrow, contacted police in December 2019, leading to the investigation into Hatfield.
Hatfield is scheduled to be arraigned March 16 at 8 a.m., according to court documents.
Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.