Contractor Steals More Than $200,000 from Elderly Widow

A western New York contractor has admitted to stealing more than $200,000 from an elderly nursing home resident with dementia. Recently, in Monroe County Court, Ronald Molinari, Jr. confessed that he billed Clementine Nelson for work on her home that he never did or didn’t do right.

According to Nelson’s brother, Molinari was hired to work on his 88-year old sister’s home in 2006…

“He kept conning her. He told her the house was in bad shape, that it was going to fall apart. He took down a perfectly good roof and put up a horrible roof. He put up vinyl siding that is coming off. A 5-year-old could have done better.”

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Molinari’s theft was discovered during an audit of Nelson’s finances when she moved to the Jewish Home of Rochester after being diagnosed with early stage dementia.

The court sentenced Molinari to five years probation and ordered him to repay $50,000 of face prison. Nelson’s family will have to pursue a civil suite to try to recover the rest of her money.

Nelson, a widow with no children, had lived in her Irondequoit, NY, home for more than 40 years. She may now have to sell her home — valued at less than $85,000 BEFORE the housing market went to hell — to pay for her nursing home care.

Don’t take the risk that an opportunistic predator will take advantage of your aging parent the way that Ronald Molinari, Jr. has admitted to taking advantage of his elderly victim.

If your aging parent or loved one is beginning to show signs of cognitive impairment or possible dementia, along with a proper medical evaluation, make sure someone looks over their finances, too.

Older adults can be extremely vulnerable to scams, fraud, and financial elder abuse. This is especially true if their judgement or memory has been affected by mild cognitive impairment, which may or may not be diagnosed.