Financial care giver scams special needs clients, officials say

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39-year-old Krista Cline from Sedona worked as a conservator and guardian in a licensed fiduciary capacity when she stole the money. (Source: YCSO) 39-year-old Krista Cline from Sedona worked as a conservator and guardian in a licensed fiduciary capacity when she stole the money. (Source: YCSO)
39-year-old Krista Cline. (Source: YCSO) 39-year-old Krista Cline. (Source: YCSO)
SEDONA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

More than $100,000 was stolen from two vulnerable victims. 39-year-old Krista Cline from Sedona worked as a conservator and guardian in a licensed fiduciary capacity when she stole the money, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

As a guardian, Cline was granted access to clients' accounts because they were declared mentally or physically unable to care for themselves or handle finances. The fiduciary is not allowed to take gifts or benefit from the client outside of the fiduciary fees and costs of care.

The first victim was a female client in a special needs care home that was declared mentally and physically unable to care for herself.

Cline was reported as the client’s conservator and guardian until she died in January 2017. Cline moved more than $76,000 from the clients account, way more than the cost of housing and fiduciary services she was entrusted to handle.

Even after the client passed away, Cline continued to transfer money to her personal accounts.

The second victim was a male special needs client. While working for him Cline transferred more than $30,000 way more than her fees, services, and costs to accounts in her name until she was fired in March 2017.

In one transaction Cline moved $16,500 from the first victim's account to the man’s, in an attempt to maintain access to the funds. When the male client discovered the deposit, he notified the bank that the money was not his. This helped to shed light on the personal accounts Cline was using to deposit stolen funds.

The Adult Protective Services (APS) contacted the sheriff's to report allegations of fraud and theft by Cline. APS requested cooperation from her to review documents during their investigation, but she refused.

The case detective issued subpoenas for her bank accounts and established a timeline for the money transfers. Cline denied knowledge or responsibility regarding money transaction for personal use.

She refused to provide the documents requested in the investigation. Cline was arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including fraudulent schemes and theft. She has been released after posting a $7500 bond.

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