Saginaw woman sentenced for embezzling more than $100K from mother
SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - A Saginaw woman was sentenced to time behind bars for embezzling more than $100,000 from her mother.
Valda Cork, 60, of Saginaw, was sentenced for spending more than $1.1 million of her mother’s money over a 12-month period, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
During that 12-month period, Cork spent more than $1.1 million of her mother’s money, which included $228,817 in spending Cork did not report to the probate court, and $664,872 for the purchase of a condo in Pompano Beach, Florida, the AG’s Office said, adding Cork did not have court authorization for the purchase.
Cork claimed to have spent the rest of the money on her mother.
The AG’s Office said Cork purchased the condo using a “ladybird” deed, allowing Cork to inherit the condo when her mother died without having to go through probate, which would prevent her siblings from inheriting any part of it.
After the probate court appointed a new guardian and conservator for Cork’s mother, the condo was sold and the money was paid back to her mother’s estate, the AG’s Office said.
Cork pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of $100,000 or more from a vulnerable adult on June 30 and on Friday, Sept. 22, she was sentenced to 15 months incarceration. She agreed to a restitution order to repay $196,394 to her mother’s estate at the Michigan Department of Treasury.
The restitution order is less than the amount Cork embezzled since the probate court ordered the sale of the Pompano Beach condo, which resulted in partial reimbursement to the estate, and because Cork paid back $100,000 after the probate court ordered a forensic evaluation of her conservatorship, according to the AG’s Office.
“Unfortunately, even family members cannot always be trusted to safeguard the property of their loved ones. We always warn vulnerable adults and those who care for those adults to be cautious about who has access to a protected person’s property,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said at the time of Cork’s plea. “Vulnerable adults should be able to live in comfort without being taken advantage of by those appointed to care for them.”
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