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Cops: Monongahela caregiver fleeced blind woman

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Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, 1:51 a.m.
 

A Monongahela resident is accused of altering personal checks to steal money from a blind woman under her care.

Karen M. Burton, 45, of 521 Park Ave., allegedly provided Monongahela police with amounts she had forged or altered on checks signed by Veronica Marraccini.

On May 8, Marraccini told police she wrote a $50 check to Burton. The check subsequently was changed to read $550, she said.

Marraccini told police she is legally blind and cannot see to handle bills.

Marraccini had an agreement in which she paid some utilities and other expenses associated with living with Burton and her family, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed with Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson in Monongahela.

Burton allegedly admitted to police that she altered the check by putting another “5” in front of the $50 written on the check. Burton admitted she did the same on other occasions, receiving $550, $250, $350 and $950 from Marraccini's checking account, police claim.

Burton also allegedly admitted she opened a Capital One Mastercard account and a Bill Me Later account in Marraccini's name. The Mastercard account showed a $155 balance. The Bill Me Later account was for $427.60, police said.

Burton is charged with five counts of forgery-alter writing, seven counts of theft by deception-false impression, and two counts of access device fraud.

She was arraigned Wednesday by Wilson and was placed in the Washington County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 straight cash bond.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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