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For Immediate Release

Defendant Convicted of Multiple Counts of Elder Theft

Santa Rosa,CA | May 14, 2018

Defendant Theodore Hudson, 53 years old of Cloverdale, was found guilty by a jury Friday afternoon after an almost two month long trial of 9 felony counts of theft from an elder. The jury also found true sentencing enhancements that alleged each theft offense resulted in over $500 thousand in loss.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This defendant gained the trust of the victim and her now deceased husband over several years. While they were in an incredibly vulnerable position he took advantage of them. Unfortunately, this type of elder abuse is not uncommon. We are thankful for the jury’s service and their thoughtful verdicts.” 

The charges resulted from an investigation initiated by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department in July of 2016 after the 94 year old victim reported that her longtime caregiver had taken approximately $1.5 million from her bank accounts without her authorization. In addition to the thefts from her accounts, the victim discovered that the defendant had transferred to himself the deeds to several of her commercial properties. 

At trial the victim testified over several days that she and her husband, who died in 2015, had initially met the defendant in 2009 when they hired him to do yard work and gardening. Over time, the defendant began doing maintenance on their commercial properties, dealing with tenants, and assisting the victims with their personal needs. Although the victims paid the defendant a monthly salary, he became verbally abusive demanding more money. In 2016 the victim discovered from reading her bank statement that the defendant had been transferring money from her account. Further, he had transferred her commercial properties to himself from which he was receiving $90 thousand a month in rental income. 

The case returns to court Thursday, June 14 for sentencing. The defendant was remanded into custody and faces a potential sentence of 25 years in state prison. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Carla Rodriguez, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Matthew Stapleton. Tom Piersol of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department headed the investigation.