By Naeisha Rose
Channel Francis, of Rosedale, pleaded guilty Monday to identity theft and scheming to defraud multiple people, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said.
Francis, 40, used the credit card accounts of three nursing home residents at Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, located at 271-11 76th Ave. in Glen Oaks, to purchase electronics and handbags worth nearly $12,000, the attorney general said. She faces between two to four years in state prison when she is sentenced Oct. 11.
“Identity theft of any kind is reprehensible, especially when it exploits vulnerable New Yorkers like nursing home residents,” Schneiderman said. “My office will not tolerate it. We’ll continue to investigate these cases and bring crooks to justice.”
Francis initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2013 when family members of the residents accused her of using the cards to buy iPads, computers and high definition televisions at retailers after looking at credit card statements. At the time, she faced up to 21 years in prison if found guilty.
Francis’ family helped get her released from jail in November 2016 by paying $150,000 for her bond, according to Schneiderman. She was incarcerated from Oct. 17, 2016 to Nov. 14, 2016.
When the families of the victims discovered the fradulent purchases in September 2013, they went to the NYPD, the state Dept. of Health and the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to dispute the charges, according to Schneiderman’s office.
The attorney general’s office was able to obtain video surveillance of Francis using credit cards in multiple stores to make the purchases. She also used her e-mail address and home address to have items shipped to her home, using the elderly victims’ credit cards.
The investigators were also able to determine that Francis had help from a friend who worked at the nursing home and had access to the residents’ sensitive information, according to the Schneiderman’s office.
The attorney general’s website, ag.ny.gov, has tips on how to avoid identity theft.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose