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Woman sentenced for taking money Neal Putnam | Sat, May 14 2011 12:00 PM

The former operator of two board and care facilities in Chula Vista was sentenced May 2 to three years in prison for committing financial elder abuse involving a theft of more than $500,000 from a patient before and after his death.

Maria Corazon Park, 54, owned Park Crest Care Center on Ash Street and Infinity Care Center on Norma Court before the facilities were shut down by the California Attorney General's Office in 2010.

Park also owned Park Villa in El Cajon which is also closed.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Charles Gill gave Park credit for serving 258 days in jail and a $424 fine. Restitution was ordered, but in an amount to be determined at a future hearing.

She pleaded guilty to stealing money from George Vickey, 89, who lived in one of Park's facilities before his 2005 death.

Vickey's only beneficiary was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, said Deputy Attorney General David Songco.

Authorities recovered $63,030 from Park at her 2010 arrest, and that amount may go to Vickey's beneficiary, said Songco.

Park's son posted $100,000 bond for his mother on April 15, as his wife was expecting a baby and he wanted his mother free during that time. Her attorney asked for a sentencing delay, but the judge denied the request and Park was remanded into custody.

Park was facing trial on 19 counts of money laundering and five counts of financial elder abuse.

Those counts were dropped March 3 when she pleaded guilty to one count of financial elder abuse.

Fred Figueroa, 91, lived in Park Crest before his death in 2008. Park was accused of writing checks to herself for $50,000 from his account even after his death. According to testimony, Park called Figueroa's bank three days after he died in order to get $86,000 to buy real estate.

Bank officials asked to speak to Figueroa, but Park said he couldn't come to the phone. They refused to give her any more money and eventually discovered that he had died.

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