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‘Caretaker’ jailed for theft from elderly woman

A 51-year-old Oak Harbor woman was sentenced to a month in jail for stealing more than $10,000 from an elderly woman she was supposed to be caring for.

Nina Mills pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Feb. 11 to theft in the first degree, a felony offense.

Judge Alan Hancock went along with the joint sentencing recommendation from both the prosecution and defense, which was part of the plea bargain. He sentenced her to 30 days in jail and ordered her to pay $10,619 to the victim, as well as $1,200 in fines and fees.

Lt. Mike Hawley with the Island County Sheriff’s Office wrote that about a year ago a man reported he was visiting his elderly mother on Dike Road and noticed irregularities with his mother’s finances. He said his mother’s younger brother and his girlfriend, Mills, agreed to be caretakers for the mature woman, in exchange for free rent.

When the woman was hospitalized for an extended period, thousands of dollars disappeared from her savings account. Mills originally denied taking money from the woman’s account with a debit card, even though Hawley obtained photos from an ATM that appeared to show her taking the money.

Mills later admitted to taking the large sums, but claimed she had permission to do so. The guilty plea, however, signifies she didn’t have permission after all.

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