TACOMA, WA – Today, a jury convicted Elizabeth Jenson, 73, of identity theft in the first and second degree, and theft in the second and third degree for stealing more than $8,000 from an elderly Tacoma man. She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. in room 411 of the County-City Building in Tacoma. Prosecutors will seek an exceptional sentence of five years in prison because the jury found that the victim was particularly vulnerable and Jenson abused her position of trust.
“Our Elder Abuse Unit continues to successfully advocate for vulnerable victims,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “People should know there are heavy penalties for exploiting elders and we vigorously prosecute these cases.”
The 65-year-old developmentally-disabled victim, Jack Falk, lived in low-income housing managed by the Tacoma Rescue Mission. Falk suspected his protective payee of stealing from him, so Jenson, an employee at the mission, volunteered to be his payee. Jenson assumed the role, and began managing Falk’s finances in 2010. She gave Falk a monthly allowance and paid his bills. Mission policy prohibits employees from having financial relationships with clients.
In 2014, Falk began to suspect Jenson was stealing from him, so a friend took him to the bank to inquire about his accounts. Falk learned that Jenson had made numerous transfers from his account to hers, and that she had paid her personal bills using his accounts. Jenson had spent more than $8,000, leaving Falk with only $100 in his accounts.
Due to Falk’s declining health, prosecutors conducted a video-recorded deposition to be used as testimony in case Falk was unavailable during trial. Falk was able to testify in person. He passed away three days later on Easter Sunday.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office