Ashley Muncie, 33, was indicted by a Madison County grand jury on charges of forgery and theft, both felonies of the fourth degree.
Muncie is accused of forging more than $6,000 in checks belonging to an elderly West Jefferson man between November 2012 and April 2013. The victim suffered from dementia.
"The victim in this case trusted the defendant, but our investigation found that the trust was built on nothing but deception," said Attorney General DeWine. "The suspect allegedly helped herself to his checking account, and these charges are the first step in holding her accountable for these crimes."
The case is being prosecuted by attorneys with Attorney General DeWine's Special Prosecutions Section. Special agents with the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigated the case as part of Attorney General DeWine's Elder Justice Initiative.
Attorney General DeWine launched the Elder Justice Initiative in 2014 to increase the investigation and prosecution of elder abuse cases and improve victims' access to services in Ohio. Anyone who suspects incidents of elder abuse or financial exploitation should contact their local authorities or the Ohio Attorney General's Elder Justice Initiative at 1-800-282-0515.
Warning signs of elder abuse include:
• Changes in an older adult’s physical appearance, such as weight loss or unexplained bruising or bleeding
• Changes in an older adult’s personality or mood
• Changes in an older adult’s finances or money management
• A dominating, threatening caregiver or new “best friend”
• Exclusion from other family members or friends
• Changes in an older adult’s home environment