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Bouchard Convicted In Financial Exploitation Case
August 21, 2007
Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe announced today that Albert Bouchard of Limestone, a former caseworker for DHHS Bureau of Elder and Adult Services, has been sentenced to jail for diverting funds from four of his elderly and incapacitated clients for his personal use. Bouchard, age 47, was charged with having misappropriated over $9,000 from clients to purchase fine jewelry, electronics, gift certificates and furniture for the benefit of himself, his family and his girlfriend over a 15 month period in 2001 through 2003.
"What made this case especially egregious was the calculated and deceptive nature of the theft." said Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin.
Following Bouchard's plea of guilty to the theft charge, Justice Allen Hunter sentenced him on August 17, 2007 to two years in jail, all but 30 days suspended. The jail time will be followed by five months of "house arrest," during which time Bouchard will be permitted to leave his house only for work, community service, parent teacher conferences, and medical appointments. He will serve two years of probation, when he will be required to complete 200 hours of community service. He paid full restitution on the day of sentencing, and commenced his jail time immediately.
According to the Attorney General's Office, Bouchard charged a $300 digital camera to the account of one elderly lady with dementia, and made several cash withdrawals from her account. He used another client's account to purchase a $1,300 large screen television for his home, and delivered a 27 inch used television to the nursing facility at which the client was living. He charged the accounts of two clients with dementia for several pieces of expensive jewelry, including $600 for a diamond anniversary ring and $700 for a gold rope chain necklace, but delivered inexpensive substitutes to the clients, who were then residing at nursing care facilities. He also charged gift certificates on three client accounts to the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle in December, 2002; the gift certificates were given as Christmas gifts to his then wife, children, his girlfriend and her children, who later redeemed them at various Mall stores.
"Albert Bouchard worked for the agency that is charged with protecting the elderly from predators like Albert Bouchard. He committed a gross abuse of the trust placed in him by the State to care for our most vulnerable citizens." Rowe Commented. "Bouchard's conduct unfairly tarnishes the reputation of the many other dedicated caseworkers who strive to care and protect the elderly. My Office will continue to work with the Bureau of Elder and Adult Services in its mission to protect our elders from financial exploitation."
As a result of Bouchard's misappropriation, DHHS has instituted additional safeguards to ensure that expenditures of client funds are appropriate and made for their benefit.
Rowe praised the coordination between the Office of Elder Services and the Office of the Attorney General, "I commend the work of Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, Detective Chick Love and Bureau of Elder and Adult Regional Supervisor Rick Mooers, without whom this conviction would not have been possible."
Assistant Attorney General, (207) 626-8581