FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 3, 2014
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
HOME HEALTH CARE AIDE SENTENCED FOR LARCENY OF CHECKS
DEFENDANT TO REPAY OVER $85,000 IN RESTITUTION
LEESBURG, Virginia – October 24, 2014. Hellder Leonora Wright, 41, appeared before Judge Donald M. Haddock Sr. in Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on four counts of larceny of checks and one count of felony failure to appear. Wright pleaded guilty to the charges on July 16, 2014.
Wright was employed as a home health care aide for a physically disabled individual in the Town of Leesburg from 2010-2011. After terminating Wright’s employment, the victim noticed several checks made out to the defendant that appeared to have been forged. Subsequent investigation by a Leesburg Police Department Detective revealed that Wright had forged more than 100 checks belonging to the victim. The victim’s total monetary loss was in excess of $85,000.
Prior to imposing sentence, Haddock reviewed a statement submitted by the victim in which she expressed her lack of trust for caretakers as the result of this incident. The victim also urged the Court to protect other vulnerable victims, and ensure that Wright would never be allowed to work in a healthcare capacity again. Haddock answered the victim’s requests by sentencing Wright to an active sentence of one year in the Virginia Department of Corrections. This sentence was twice the recommended high end of the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines for these offenses.
Haddock imposed an additional five years and six months of suspended time for the charges, conditioned upon Wright’s good behavior and her successful completion of five years supervised probation upon her release from prison. Wright was further ordered to pay restitution in excess of $85,000 to the victim in this case.
While Wright was awaiting her court date in Virginia, she fled to Florida and had to be extradited back to Loudoun County for further court hearings. Haddock ordered that Wright repay over $5,000 in extradition costs to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Wright’s prior criminal record consists of one petit larceny conviction in Fairfax County, in which the victim was a residential training center serving individuals with intellectual and related disabilities.
“Offenders who prey on the young, elderly or disabled are in a category among themselves in the criminal justice system,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. “It’s our duty, as a community, to care for and protect the vulnerable from people such as this that only seek to exploit them for personal gain.”