SANTA ANA, Calif. – A trustee's assistant was charged yesterday with financial elder abuse and forgery for stealing over $500,000 from a 95-year-old woman with dementia. Thomas Chapman Hood, 69, Newport Coast, was charged yesterday, Feb. 7, 2017, with 19 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of first degree residential burglary to commit larceny and financial elder abuse, and one felony count of theft from an elder, with sentencing enhancement allegations for non-accomplices being present during residential burglary, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and property loss of over $200,000. Hood is being held on $534,850 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. His arraignment date is to be determined.
At the time of the crime, Hood was employed part-time as an assistant to the trustee of 95-year-old Jane Doe's bank accounts. The defendant worked from the home office of the trustee's secretary in Orange.
On March 1, 2015, Hood is accused of stealing Jane Doe's check books from the home office while the secretary and homeowner were in other rooms. The defendant is accused of taking advantage of his position of trust, knowing Jane Doe had dementia and resided in a senior care facility. The secretary and trustee did not authorize Hood to access any checks for personal or business use.
Between March 17, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016, Hood is accused of forging the trustee's signature on dozens of checks for a loss of $534,850 dollars. The defendant is accused of depositing the unauthorized checks into his personal bank account and using the stolen funds to pay for his personal expenses, including credit card bills and a 2-week vacation in Paris, France.
On Oct. 6, 2016, the trustee discovered the fraud when he attempted to make a payment from Jane Doe's bank to her assisted living home which was denied due to insufficient funds. The trustee contacted the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), who investigated this case.
Hood was arrested today, Feb. 8, 2017, by OCSD.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17CF0304 / February 8, 2017