BY RAY LAMONT
A Gloucester home health aide charged a year ago with stealing as much as $50,000 from an 87-yearold client was ordered to pay $7,000 in restitution under a plea agreement.
Ellen Marie Petrilli, 56, of 10 Flume Road, Apt. 2, entered guilty pleas Tuesday in Gloucester District Court to seven counts of credit card fraud of $250 or more and single counts of forgery by check and uttering a false check, all stemming from her arrest by Gloucester police in April 2016.
According to court documents, Petrilli paid the restitution Tuesday by a bank check.
Under the plea agreement, Petrilli will be on probation through April 2019. Judge Richard C. Mori also ordered Petrilli to no longer provide any home services, to stay away from the victim’s family, to remain free of drugs and alcohol while being subject to random screens, and to undergo a mental health evaluation.
The charges had been filed after members of the victim’s family, who hired Petrilli through the agency TLC in Gloucester in December 2013, went to police in early 2016 over concerns about her handling of their mother’s finances.
Police found that TLC had terminated Petrilli’s employment over “concerns” that had been raised in February 2014. But Petrilli was able to convince the victim to retain her as a personal care assistant, a move that placed any hiring and firing responsibilities on the family. Petrilli then began submitting work and pay requests to the North Shore ARC for payment. The Danvers-based North Shore ARC would sever its relationship with Petrilli after officials there became
See HOME AIDE, Page 11
HOME AIDE: Returns $7K to Gloucester client
. Continued from Page 1
concerned over complaints reported by another client and after speaking with police in 2016.
Members of the victim’s family had become concerned in late 2015 and early 2016, when they found eight checks bearing a signature they knew was not their mother’s. The checks included two — for $695 and $1416.61, respectively — made out to Robbers Row Arcade, a Beverly-based rental company that owned the Flume Road building that included the apartment where Petrilli was living, according to a report from Gloucester police Detective Thomas Quinn.
Subsequently, family members told police that, from the time Petrilli began caring for their mother two years earlier, the victim had gone from “never being late” on payments or overdrawn to owing up to $50,000 in credit card expenditures, overdrafts and other financial fees. In addition, Quinn’s report notes, the victim’s utilities were being threatened with disconnection due to non- payment.
The credit card charges included $7,000 owed on a Discover card, and another $11,000 in unauthorized transactions charged to a Citi card, according to the report. The identification theft charge came from Petrilli’s attempt to use the victim’s social security number to obtain two car loans, the report states.
According to Quinn’s report, police had begun investigating Petrilli’s actions in September 2015, when authorities learned that Petrilli – described in the reports as “a known drug user” – had also made a number of “suspicious pawns” of jewelry.
Quinn’s report states that police were unable to establish whether the jewelry belonged to the elderly woman.
Staff writer Ray Lamont can be reached at 978675-2705, or via email at rlamont@ gloucestertimes. com.