Woman accused of stealing money from mother avoids jail | News
AMESURY — A Kimball Road woman agreed to pay back almost $85,000 to her elderly mother during Tuesday’s appearance in Newburyport District Court.
Wendy Lattime, 57, told Judge Allen Swan she would pay back $84,700 to her mother within 30 days as part of her plea deal. Should she pay back the money during that time, a larceny over $1,200 by single scheme charge will be dropped.
Amesbury police say Lattime stole the money from her mother’s bank account over a seven-month period in 2017 to pay for home renovations to her home. The victim, according to Amesbury police Detective Steven Reed’s report, moved into an apartment inside her daughter’s home in summer 2016.
“After she moved in, she had made payments to contractors over the next several months to complete her apartment, around $35,000. During that time, other contractors doing work on the home would come to apartment to collect money at the direction of Wendy,” Reed wrote in his report.
The victim confronted Lattime and said the money was all she had and would not be able to replace. Lattime insisted she would pay her mother back. Lattime did not pay her back and when the victim asked her when that might happen, Lattime would yell at her or walk away. The victim later told a Pettengill House employee about the theft and said she would report it to Elder Services. The victim however, implored her not to, saying she still had to live with her daughter, according to Reed’s report.
The Pettengill House is a Salisbury-based social services agency.
It was only until 2018 and other failed attempts to speak to her daughter, that the mother finally contacted Elder Services about the money. An Elder Services agent contacted the Essex County District Attorney’s Office which then relayed the case to Amesbury police.
The victim told police she noticed money was being transferred out of her account and into her daughter’s account. She had given her daughter access to the account in case something happened to her but did not give her permission to use her money without her consent.
“During the time she lived there it appears her daughter took advantage of her, used her mother’s money to pay for home renovations for the entire home. When (the victim) spoke with her daughter about the money as he was transferring out of her account she was met with hostility from Wendy. (The victim) didn’t know what to do and was conflicted because it was her daughter. As of Feb. 18, 2019, Lattime has made no effort to contact her mother or return any money to her,” Reed wrote in his report.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.