Marcia Leiba of Tamarac, Florida was arrested Wednesday after she was accused of stealing checks from her elderly ward, forging his signature, and cashing them, news sources report. Leiba, 54, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of petit theft, grand theft, and uttering a false instrument. It is unclear whether she has qualified for a set bail bond. The press did not specify an defense attorney for Leiba.
According to reports, Leiba had been hired to act as a nurse’s aide for the elderly victim sometime around February and May of this year. It was not immediately clear at press time who had hired Leiba, or whether she worked alone or for a large business. It is similarly unclear how these charges will affect her ability to continue working as a nurse’s aide.
Sometime after Leiba was hired, she allegedly stole around 16 Vanguard Money Market checks from the elderly victim’s checkbook. Leiba made all the checks out to “cash” and forged the victim’s name on each of them, sources allege. From March to May, Leiba allegedly cashed 13 checks, valued at about $11,265, at Tubby’s Drive Thru on West McNab Road in Tamarac. Sources say one of the checks Leiba took to Tubby’s bounced, costing the store $2,178. Reports say Leiba cashed around three other checks for approximately $2,320 at different locations; detectives are still attempting to determine where those checks were cashed.
Police later confronted Leiba with the information and she reportedly said she had a gambling problem and was using the stolen funds to fuel it. It is unclear whether the detectives were able to recover any of the allegedly stolen funds. There is no indication that Leiba has been arrested previously.
In a similar case earlier this week, John Quick of Davie was arrested after he allegedly defrauded an elderly man out of hundreds in turn for car repairs he never actually performed, reports say. Quick, 52, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of exploitation of the elderly, a crime he was serving probation on already. His bail was set at $26,000 for this recent charge, but he is being held without bond for a probation violation. It is uncertain whether he has hired legal aid.
News sources indicate the fraud began at a traffic light in Davie. Quick allegedly spotted a 91-year-old man and offered to perform bodywork on the man’s car for $825. Later, Quick charged the victim $125 and $165. Quick received payment even though he never finished the repairs, sources say.
Exploitation of the elderly cases appear to have spike in South Florida over the past several months. The elderly are often the target of fraud because they typically have large sums of retirement money stored in the bank. In some cases, the elderly are often left to make their own decisions, and age or mental ailments may affect their ability to identify fraudsters. Con artists are often very skilled at their trade, and even the non-elderly fall for their silver-tongued offers.
Source: 8.15.13 Leiba Broward.pdf