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Willmar woman, former caregiver of vulnerable adults, pleads guilty to financial exploitation

WILLMAR--A 36-year-old former caretaker for multiple local group homes pleaded guilty last week to one gross misdemeanor charge for stealing more than $8,400 from seven developmentally disabled adults.

WILLMAR-A 36-year-old former caretaker for multiple local group homes pleaded guilty last week to one gross misdemeanor charge for stealing more than $8,400 from seven developmentally disabled adults.

Carrie Sue Wadsworth, of Willmar, was originally charged in April 2015 in Kandiyohi County District Court with two felony and two gross misdemeanor charges of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Each charge carried offense dates from February 2013.

Her plea June 27 to a gross misdemeanor charge came with an agreement to pay restitution, and a 15-day cap on jail time.

In a handwritten portion to the plea agreement, Wadsworth wrote that she "did not fulfill my responsibility of ... documentation for the position I was responsible for, which led to missing funds and documentation."

According to the criminal complaint, funds from seven different vulnerable adult clients of the Presbyterian Family Foundation disappeared between May 2013 and September 2014.

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Financial records for the money showed numerous mysterious cash withdrawals, charged amounts and checks that did not have accompanying receipts or explanations for use, according to the criminal complaint

Wadsworth was a program director for the company during that time, in charge of managing the finances of each of the adult victims.

A Willmar Police Department detective received report of the situation in March 2015, during an interview with Presbyterian Family Foundation employees. Multiple employees reported that they believed Wadsworth had stolen $8,446 belonging to seven vulnerable adults.

In conversations with co-workers, Wadsworth had allegedly admitted to taking some of the missing money.

One employee told law enforcement she had a Feb. 5, 2015, conversation with Wadsworth during which Wadsworth reportedly admitted to stealing $900 from one of the vulnerable adults because of her own financial problems.

Another employee reported that she had received text messages from Wadsworth, in which Wadsworth apologized for her behavior and said she had a gambling problem.

Wadsworth had originally been granted a public defender, but then declined in favor of hiring private attorney Ralph Daby.

However, citing communication problems with Wadsworth, Daby withdrew from the case in April.

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Wadsworth re-applied for a public defender, but her application was denied because she had previously declined that option.

No attorney is currently listed as assigned to Wadsworth in the case.

She is set to be sentenced July 29 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Related Topics: CRIME
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