Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Woman sentenced to 5 years for exploiting nursing home resident

A Las Cruces woman was sentenced Monday to five years in prison and ordered to pay $84,094 in restitution for using a nursing home resident’s funds to pay for trips, online dating and other personal expenses.

Guadalupe Kingston, 60, pleaded guilty in March to five felony counts, including exploitation of a resident’s property and falsification of Medicaid documents, court records show.

Kingston, who held power of attorney over the resident’s funds, represented to the state Human Services Department that the funds were being held in a Medicaid trust that, in fact, did not exist, Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office said in a press release.

Instead, Kingston used the funds to pay for trips, a car payment, spa visits, online dating, pet grooming and other personal expenses, it said.

“Our most vulnerable need protection, and the defendant brazenly abused that trust by exploiting an innocent victim for her own personal gratification,” Balderas said in the statement.

The case was investigated and prosecuted by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Kingston also pleaded guilty to identity theft and two counts of forgery, all committed between August 2013 and September 2018, according to the March 1 plea agreement.

Twelfth Judicial District Court Judge Steven Blankinship also prohibited Kingston from working with vulnerable adults and minors after her release from prison.

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