Dartmouth Woman Arraigned in Connection with Stealing More Than $1 Million From Elderly Doctor
BOSTON – A Dartmouth woman has been arraigned in connection with stealing approximately $1.2 million from an elderly doctor who she was paid to care for, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced today.
Gloria Balestracci, age 66, was arraigned today in Bristol Superior Court on the charges of Larceny over $250 from a Person Over 60 (1 count), Forgery (4 counts), Uttering (4 counts), Making and Subscribing False Tax Returns (2 counts) and Aiding and Assisting in Making False Statements on Income Tax Returns (2 counts). At the arraignment, Balestracci pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Bristol Superior Court Judge Renee Dupuis presided over the arraignment.
In October 2009, the AG’s Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by the New Bedford Police Department. Gloria Balestracci worked as the office manager for the New Bedford-based doctor for more than 13 years, and when he retired, continued working for him, assisting him with paying bills, buying groceries, and general home and health care. As the doctor’s health declined, Balestracci became his primary home and health aid. Balestracci was paid weekly by the doctor for her work. From on or about 2004 through 2009, authorities allege that Balestracci stole approximately $1.2 million from the doctor. According to authorities, Balestracci forged the doctor’s signature on checks and wrote checks to herself and to family members. Authorities also allege that Balestracci made credit card payments from the doctor’s account to credit cards in her name. The doctor passed away in September 2009. It was after his death that authorities discovered the alleged larceny.
A Bristol Grand Jury returned indictments against Balestracci on March 30, 2012. She was arraigned today in Bristol Superior Court where she pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Balestracci is due back in court on June 20, 2012 for a pre-trial conference.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Margret Cooke, Chief of AG Coakley’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division, with assistance from Senior Investigator Mark Pulli also from the AG’s Office, Department of Revenue Investigator Janel Cosgrove, and the State Police from the AG’s Office.