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Plea deal offered in Healdsburg elder theft case

A 22-year-old nursing assistant charged with stealing more than $5,500 from an 86-year-old resident of a Healdsburg assisted living facility is being offered an alternative to jail time if she pleads guilty and repays the money.

Lilian Njera Mbua was charged last month with felony elder theft and burglary for allegedly stealing a half-dozen or more bank checks from the victim and forging his signature.

Mbua, a Kenyan citizen living in Santa Rosa, is accused of stealing from a resident of the Healdsburg Senior Living Community.

"It appears she was stealing checkbooks and checks from the victim," said Healdsburg Police Sgt. Nick Castaneda, who said Mbua made the checks out to herself for approximately $1,000 at a time and cashed them at various bank branch locations.

The assisted living facility was notified by a Wells Fargo branch in Santa Rosa of the suspicious activity last summer and police were in turn called to investigate.

Mbua was arrested in mid-November on a $100,000 warrant and spent 11 days in jail, according to court records, before being released from custody under court supervision.

Castaneda said his investigation turned up no evidence of more victims, although when he arrested Mbua she was on her way to care for another elderly person in Santa Rosa. She also had more checks with her belonging to the Healdsburg victim, according to police.

The 86-year-old man said he never gave her permission to write or cash the checks, Castaneda said.

Mbua is scheduled to enter a plea in Judge Rob LaForge's courtroom on Tuesday.

Prosecutors have said they will recommend a non-incarceration sentence not to exceed 90 days if she pleads guilty to theft, repays the money and does not work with elders. You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 521-5214 or clark.mason@pressdemocrat.com


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