Manager of Morris County Senior Assisted Care Facility Sentences to Two Years in Prison for Stealing $237K

NEWARK, N.J. – The former business manager of a Morris County, New Jersey, assisted living facility was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for stealing approximately $237,000 from an elderly victim under her care, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Officials say Marcella Drakeford, 46, most recently of Fort Pierce, Florida, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to Count One of an indictment charging her with mail fraud. Judge Hayden imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

Beginning in December 2016, Drakeford agreed to help manage her victim’s financial affairs and pay for her care.

She was granted limited access to the victim’s checking account. Unbeknownst to the victim or the victim’s guardian, Drakeford already had fraudulently gained access to the victim’s credit card account and had several cards issued in her name.

Drakeford then used the credit cards for personal expenditures, including luxury clothing, jewelry, automobiles, dental work, rent, and utilities.

Drakeford paid off the credit card bills with checks drawn on the victim’s checking account, all without permission.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Hayden sentenced Drakeford to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution of $237,258.