A State College man is headed to jail for being part of scheme that attempted to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from a group of senior citizens, but the prison sentence is far less than what prosecutors were asking for.
When he was first arrested, the list of charges against now 42-year-old Ignacio Pearsall filled several pages.
Police say Pearsall admitted that while working as a nurse’s aide at a State College area nursing home, he stole blank checks from several seniors he was caring for.
Authorities say one victim was 100 years old, and another was 99, in fact the victims’ average age was 89.
Police say Pearsall confessed, telling them he was working with scammers in Georgia, and possibly Florida and Jamaica.
The checks were sent there and then with forged signatures, attempted to be cashed for large amounts of money.
The total for all the stolen checks was over $500,000.
Fortunately, the banks involved never honored the checks and no money was actually withdrawn.
In court Thursday, Pearsall pleaded guilty to 12 criminal counts.
Prosecutors said Pearsall previously had been convicted on a federal charge of distributing cocaine.
They were asking for a prison sentence of at least 4-and-a-half to 9 years for Pearsall, but Centre County Judge Brian Marshall ordered a 6 to 18-month prison sentence, followed by more than 5 years of probation.
Pearsall told the judge that he understood what he’d done and was just trying to get it over with.