A Bensalem woman was arrested on Thursday after she allegedly stole over $300,000 from a 67-year-old woman in a nursing home.
Investigators say the victim had been in permanent nursing home care since July of 2007. During that month, Virginia Marquardt, 65, obtained Power of Attorney for her, according to police. This gave Marquardt the ability to hold the victim’s money, control her assets and disburse them as needed. Marquardt took control of the victim’s bank account in August 2007.
Virginia Marquardt, Credit: Bensalem Police
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Investigators say Marquardt made herself a 50% beneficiary and signed it using the Power of Attorney. In the Spring of 2008, she also had a new will drawn up for the victim, naming her as a 50% beneficiary.
Detectives say they discovered that only partial payment for care was paid from the victim’s Social Security Check. Her pension and partial pension from her deceased husband were deposited into the account controlled by Marquardt and were not made payable to the nursing home, according to investigators. Police say the outstanding balance owed to the nursing home increased from just over $6000 to more than $20,000 in 2009.
By December of 2009, police say the payments to the nursing home had completely stopped and Marquardt allegedly represented to the home that the victim no longer had money to pay for her care. Police say the victim had investments that apparently had not been liquidated to pay for her care as required to qualify for medical assistance which was denied.
Over the next several years, police say Marquardt only paid portions to the nursing home for the victim’s care and the outstanding balance continued to rise. The unexplained and suspicious use of the victim’s assets prompted an investigation in 2011. Through the investigation, police say they discovered over $300,000 in illegal payments from the account between August of 2007 and March of 2012 were made for the benefit of Marquardt and her husband Edward Marquardt.
Marquardt allegedly used the stolen money for business and personal purposes, including the purchase of luxury watches, credit card payments and vacations to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Marquardt was arrested and charged with theft. She was arraigned with bail set at $300,000 bail.
She later posted 10% and was released, according to police.