The former caretaker for a 93-year-old retired Springfield pathologist has been sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution for stealing thousands of dollars from her employer.
Sandra Gayle, 66, of Springfield was convicted by a jury in September of financial exploitation of the elderly and financial exploitation of a person with a disability.
Assistant state’s attorneys Karen Tharp and Jay Magnuson said that Gayle, while she was the woman’s caretaker from 2004 until November 2007, received “gifts” of thousands of dollars for herself and relatives, used the doctor’s money for car repairs, to pay off credit card debt and to buy a $43,000 van. Gayle had obtained the doctor’s power of attorney both for finances and for health care.
Associate Judge John Mehlick called Gayle “the worst nightmare” for family members who have to depend on someone else to care for an elderly loved one.
“You were hired to be a caregiver, and that’s all, for a woman who had no one to take care of her,” Mehlick told Gayle.
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