Newmanstown woman arrested for financial exploitation of elderly victim

Mary S. Shealer, 58, from Newmanstown, PA, has been arrested for financial exploitation of an elderly person and related charges, announced the Berks County District Attorney’s Office Friday.

In August of 2021, the Berks County District Attorney’s Detectives initiated a criminal investigation into allegations involving Senior Financial Exploitation/Fraud. It was reported that money had been diverted from an elderly victim without her knowledge or consent. Detectives also learned that the Berks County Area Agency on Aging had also received a report relating to this alleged financial exploitation.

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The investigation revealed that between 2019-2020, the defendant wrote numerous personal checks out to herself that were drawn on the victim’sbank account. During this period, the defendant was the designated Power of Attorney for the victim, who was 89 years of age.    

A forensic audit was conducted by a certified forensic examiner. The results were received in March of 2024. After reviewing the results, it was determined that over $9,600 was taken from the victim.  

On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, the defendant was charged with Financial Exploitation of an Older Adult or Care-Dependent Person, Theft by Unlawful Taking, Theft by Deception, and Receiving Stolen Property. A warrant of arrest was issued for the defendant.      

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On Thursday, June 13, 2024, the defendant surrendered to members ofthe Berks County Detectives.

The defendant was transported to the Central Processing Center locatedat the Berks County Courthouse where she was fingerprinted and photographed.

On Thursday the defendant was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Steven Chieffo. The defendant was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

A Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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