Cottonwood AZ (October 23, 2019) – A Yavapai County jury has found 41-year-old Krista Cline, a licensed fiduciary at the time of her crimes, guilty of Fraud Schemes and Theft, for stealing more than $95,000 from two of her clients, both disabled. The trial, conducted in front of Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff, concluded on October 16, 2019.
In 2016, Cline was hired to oversee the finances of one of the disabled victims, a resident of Cottonwood. In 2017, Detective Todd Swaim of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office began investigating suspicious, large transactions on the victim’s “special needs” bank account. The detective learned that Cline had been withdrawing large sums of money to deposit into her and her husband’s personal accounts.
The second victim was a disabled woman suffering from Alzheimer’s who resided at the Austin House before she passed away in 2017 in hospice care. Cline was appointed as her fiduciary in September of 2016. The jury found that Cline billed the victim’s account in excess of $65,000 for false, fabricated, and excessive services. To legitimize and justify her thefts, Cline created detailed fraudulent statements and accountings several months after her thefts on both accounts.
Cline will be sentenced by Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff on November 13, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Cline faces a possible prison sentence of up to 12 years in the state Department of Corrections.
Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk stated: “Our office is very grateful to the jury for their faithful execution of their duties and essential role they played in protecting our seniors and vulnerable populations. We also want to applaud the work of Detective Todd Swaim and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office for their outstanding work to unravel this despicable fraud. Finally, I want to compliment the work of deputy county attorney George Rodriquez for his dedication in organizing and presenting a complex fraud case to the jury. Justice has been served.”