ELYSBURG — An Elysburg woman has been charged with stealing her mother’s Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits between Dec. 1 and July 22.

Anita J. Karlovich, of 370 S. Market St., was charged by Ralpho Township Patrolman David Tomtishen with a misdemeanor of misapplication of entrusted property.

According to a criminal complaint filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge William Cole, Tomtishen was notified by Northumberland Officer Matthew Lauver on July 26 that Karlovich was stealing money from her mother, Dorothy Keller, a resident at Emmanuel Home in Northumberland. Tomtishen said Karlovich has power of attorney for her mother.

Karlovich was allegedly supposed to depost $2,209 to Keller for Social Security and veteran’s benefits, however only sporadic payments of $1,000 were made.

A total of $10,815 was deposited into Keller’s account from Veterans Affairs from December 2018 to July 2019 and numerous withdrawals and debit card payments were assessed against Keller’s bank account.

Robert Delbo, who manages Emmanuel Home, told police that Keller was behind on her nursing home payments. Delbo said the Veterans Affairs benefits are supposed to be directly applied to Keller’s care at the home.

Delbo told police he contacted Karlovich several times in reference to being behind on the payments, but she continually told him she hadn’t received the funds yet.

An agreement between the parties required Karlovich to pay the full veteran’s benefits of $1,290, and $1,000 of Keller’s Social Security benefits per month for a total of $2,209.

According to Delbo, Karlovich had only been making sporadic payments of $1,000 per month based on the Social Security income only, and had been late on the payments.

After further examination of Keller’s bank statements, Tomtishen said it was discovered that the Social Security funds and Veterans Affairs benefits were deposited into Keller’s account since December.

A total of $10,815 was deposited into Keller’s account from Veterans Affairs from December 2018 to July 2019 and numerous withdrawals and debit card payments were assessed against Keller’s bank account.

On Aug. 5, Tomtishen conducted an interview with Karlovich, who said she was having financial issues and money management problems. As time continued on, Karlovich said the financial problems snowballed out of control, making her realize she was not going to be able to make up the difference.

She told Tomtishen that she had no idea why she lied about the Veterans Affairs money and admitted to using the money she stole for bills, truck repairs and Christmas purchases.

Karlovich told police the agreement between herself, her mother and Emmanuel Home was that the entire Veterans Affairs check would go directly toward her mother’s care, with an additional $1,000 from Keller’s Social Security funds, which left her with approximately $300.

She said the additional money was supposed to be used for her mother’s supplemental health insurance, life insurance, cell phone, pharmaceuticals and any other supplies she might need.

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