REPORT FROM THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL – HONOLULU, HAWAII –The Honorable Judge Richard Pollack sentenced an Oahu woman to a one-year prison term for her part in a financial exploitation scam that cost an 84-year old Oahu man more than $200,000.
Nora Bell, 46, of Ewa Beach, ran the “Classic Residential Care Home” on Hookele Street in Waianae. The victim, who suffers from age related dementia, entered the care home in 2004. Over a one-year period beginning in April 2007 and as the victim’s dementia worsened, Bell and an accomplice, Joel Tacras, carried out a scheme to systematically withdraw cash from the victim’s bank accounts, and redeem his treasury bonds, all without his knowledge. By July 2008, Bell had taken nearly all of the victim’s savings and cashed in his treasury bonds.
The case came to the Department of the Attorney General when certain wire transfers made by Bell caught the attention of American Savings Bank personnel, where the victim held his accounts. The bank personnel notified Adult Protective Services, which reported the suspicious activity to the Department of the Attorney General.
Bell was indicted last May and charged with two counts of Theft in the First Degree and money laundering. In addition to her one-year prison term, Bell was ordered to repay the victim $135,000.00 once she is released from prison, and while serving five-years probation. She was ordered to turn herself in tomorrow morning.
Last December, Judge Pollack sentenced Bell’s accomplice, Joel Tacras, to a six-month term jail for his part in the scam. In addition to his jail term, Tacras was also sentenced to 200 hours of community service and must repay the victim $66,000 (see News Release 2011-32 from the Department of the Attorney General, issued on December 16, 2011).
Attorney General David Louie reiterated his earlier statement that, “criminals who prey on our most vulnerable populations will be held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent under the law.” The case was investigated by Terrence Miyasato and Prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Gary Senaga of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.