A Missoula woman convicted of bilking her elderly mother, who has dementia, of the money from her home received a 10-year suspended sentence. Paulette Homer Ford also was ordered to pay back $100,000 – less than half the amount sought by the prosecution.
“Our elderly family members are being taken advantage of and this is the time we tell the community it’s not OK,” said Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jennifer Clark.
Clark had argued in favor of a 10-year sentence with eight years suspended. She also sought restitution of nearly $208,000, an amount that included attorneys’ fees expended by Ford’s relatives in a long-running battle over control of their mother’s care and assets.
Those relatives were furious when Ford used the proceeds from a reverse mortgage on her mother’s home to pay off her own mortgage and debts. Because of that, they said, there was no money to maintain their mother in a nicer nursing home than the one where she now resides.
Ford was found guilty of exploiting an older person in a bench trial in January. She could have faced 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
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Missoula Woman Convicted of Bilking Mom Must Pay Back $100K