August 27, 2013 | 11:16 AMELKHORN — Kimberly L. Doran agreed to care for her elderly father and removed him from a “dump” of a nursing home. However, when her dad was in her care, she stole $35,000 from his IRA account.
“This was a serious betrayal of trust,” Judge David Reddy said after sentencing the 47-year-old woman to three years of probation, which was the maximum probation term allowed.
As a condition of her probation, Reddy stayed and imposed all but 15 days of a six-month jail sentence. This means Doran must serve 15 days in jail, and, at her probation agent’s discretion could serve the remanding 5 1/2 months.
Sometime around April 2010, Doran became her father’s power of attorney, according to court documents. Doran made three withdrawals from her father’s IRA account, which totaled $35,000. Because the withdrawals came from an IRA account the victim incurred additional costs for fees and tax penalties. He also lost potential income on interest that the account would have generated.
Doran’s attorney John Dade and Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo agreed to a restitution amount before the hearing.
The amount of restitution is $40,000 if Doran pays her father $5,000 within the next 90 days.
However, if she doesn’t, the amount of restitution raises to $45,000.
Donohoo asked Reddy to sentence Doran to probation, but asked him to include conditional jail time to serve as a deterrent to other potential offenders.
“We are seeing more and more cases of people stealing money from family and close friends,” Donohoo said. “If you steal from vulnerable people, like the elderly or infirm, there will be punishment.”
Dade said the victim, Doran and Doran’s husband all resided in the same home in Bloomfield Township. He said some of the money went to cover shared household expenses.
“She was the main person taking care of him,” Dade said.
Dade’s comment drew laughs of disbelief from the victim and two of his friends.
“She was in essence a 24/7 in-home nurse, who was helping (the victim),” Dade said.
Dade said a mitigating factor in the case is that Doran provided her father some care without receiving compensation.
“To that I say, ‘That’s what a good daughter does,’” Reddy said.
Dade asked Reddy to sentence his client to probation, but not to include jail time.
Dade compared Doran’s case to the cases of Johnalee Kawalec and Deborah Hutter. Both women were convicted of theft, and both received probation without conditional jail time. Unlike Doran’s case, Kawalec took her case to jury trial and was convicted.
“Mrs. Donohoo said she asked for jail in those cases, but she didn’t get it, and neither should Mrs. Doran,” Dade said.
Reddy wasn’t the judge in either the Kawalec or the Hutter cases, and he said he wasn’t familiar with either case. As a judge, he said it isn’t appropriate for him to compare the cases.