SARANAC LAKE - An 83-year-old local woman has been charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from someone she knew over a three-year period, but she says the accusation is false.
Village police served a criminal summons issued by village court to Charlotte A. Gladd, of Saranac Lake, at 6:55 a.m Friday. Gladd was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a class D felony.
Police Chief Bruce Nason said Gladd withdrew approximately $40,000 from the bank account of an 87-year-old woman Gladd knows but is not related to, without authorization to do so, from 2008 to at least 2010.
Nason said the case stems from information provided by someone who had power of attorney over the alleged victim of the theft.
"It came to the attention of the power of attorney when they discovered what appeared to be unusual financial transactions," Nason said. "We're still going through more financial documents."
Nason said he didn't know why Gladd took the money or what she did with it.
"The charges are not true," Gladd told the Enterprise this morning.
Gladd said she was caring for the woman for two or three years and that the woman paid her by check; Gladd said she didn't have access to the woman's bank account. Gladd said the person who has power of attorney over the woman is claiming Gladd coerced the alleged victim into writing checks for her.
Gladd's daughter, Denise Lester, said the 87-year-old woman and Gladd were "best friends.
"My mom helped her," Lester said. "She took her to every appointment she ever had. "She used to pay my mom for everything she did. She insisted upon paying for everything. She used to write checks; she would sign them and ask my mom to fill them in because she didn't write as good as she used to. These were best friends helping each other. That is the true story."
Three years ago, Lester said the alleged victim gave her mother a check for $40,000 because the two women had planned to go on a cruise together. The alleged victim's attorney at the time demanded Gladd give the money back, which Lester said Gladd did.
"We thought it was over with," Lester said.
Gladd said she's hired Lake Placid attorney Brian Barrett to represent her in the case.
Gladd wasn't taken into custody. She was given a criminal summons by police and is scheduled to appear in village court March 25.
Nason said the case is unrelated to the Jan. 18 arrest of Jane Carpenter, 59, of Saranac Lake, for allegedly stealing a combined $327,000 in cash and savings bonds from a family member over whom she had power of attorney.
"It just happened where we had a couple of cases involving people with power of attorney," Nason said.
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.