A Gering woman convicted of stealing money from her grandmother has been sentenced to probation.
A Scotts Bluff County District Court jury convicted Crystal D. Lessert, 40, on a charge of abuse of a vulnerable adult, a Class IIIA felony, in September after a one-day trial. Scotts Bluff County District Court Judge Andrea Miller sentenced the woman on Nov. 15.
Lessert received a sentence of 18 months probation and was ordered to pay court costs.
Scottsbluff Police began investigating Lessert in September 2018 after police received an adult protective services intake. Allegations involved Lessert’s 80-year-old grandmother, who resided in a Scottsbluff nursing home. Lessert had been named the woman’s power of attorney and was responsible for managing her finances.
According to the arrest affidavit, Lessert had not paid the woman’s nursing home bill, of more than $5,000, since April 2018 and had been inconsistent in paying for the woman’s care for the seven-month period prior. Other witnesses observed that Lessert’s grandmother didn’t have funds to pay for personal expenses.
A Department of Health and Human Services caseworker involved in the investigation and police subpoenaed Lessert’s grandmother’s bank statements. Police questioned 26 transactions, totaling an estimated $2,000, according to the affidavit. Questionable charges included payments for a tattoo, purchases on a vacation, clothing stores and payments of medical costs.