ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – A former nursing home worker is accused of taking advantage of nearly two dozen elderly people.
Alamogordo police say Lucy Ramirez, 43, embezzled nearly $80,000 from the Betty Dare Good Samaritan Center.
Ramirez, who was the office manager at the nursing home for almost three years, is accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from 21 of the home’s residents.
Carlene Briggs has a sister at the center.
“I think that’s the rottenest thing I’ve ever heard of that somebody would do that,” said Briggs.
Detectives say Ramirez would write checks to herself from the resident’s trust accounts, the very accounts their friends and family members set up for them.
“We’ve set up trust accounts so that if my sister needs her hair cut at the beauty shop, it comes out of that account,” said Briggs.
Police say Ramirez would cash checks from those accounts and say the money was going toward a resident’s funeral plan or medication.
They also say she was using the nursing home’s funds to pay her boyfriend’s cellphone bill.
“It pulls on everybody’s heart strings that the elderly have been abused,” said Alamogordo Police Detective Sgt. Roger Schoolcraft.
Ramirez is also accused of stealing more than $2,000 from the center’s vending machines.
She resigned from the nursing home.
Administrators did not want to comment.