Sonoma Co. counselor arrested for elder abuse and theft (CA)

Santa Rosa police arrested a self-employed counselor for elderly clients on suspicion of defrauding $26,000 from a woman over the last four months, a police sergeant said.

Andrew Ross, 46, of Healdsburg, became a trustee of the 86-year-old woman’s personal checking account in October and made several electronic transfers to his personal accounts, Sgt. Lisa Banayat said.

He also altered several invoices for fraudulent services totaling $10,500 which the victim paid, Banayat said. The total loss between December 2014 and March was $26,000.

Ross, who founded Creative Counseling for Elders and Families in 2005, used the money to take his family on a trip to Mexico and pay his taxes, according to Banayat.

A social worker with Adult Protective Service informed police on March 27 about a possible financial elder abuse case.

The victim, who had been diagnosed with severe memory loss, was released from court-ordered conservatorship in 2014, and was introduced to Creative Counseling for Elders and Families to help her cope with memory loss, Banayat said.

Ross was arrested Thursday after leaving his Healdsburg residence and was booked in the Sonoma County Jail for financial elder abuse and grand theft, Banayat said.

Ross posted bail today and is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 3, Banayat said.

–Bay City News


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