AG Brnovich: Theft Ring Busted in Tucson Suspects Accused of Preying on Elderly

Phoenix – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced five people have been indicted, accused of stealing from the elderly in Tucson. The alleged theft ring was dismantled after a joint investigation involving the Tucson Police Department, the Oro Valley Police Department, and the Arizona Attorney General's Office. 44 year old Kathryn Louise Hess, 38 year old Chevy Tennell Marchbank, 33 year old Teresa M. Hess, 22 year old Nicole Marian Risner, and 37 year old Brittany Marie Crowther have been indicted on charges of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Forgery, Theft of a Credit Card, Taking the Identity of Another, Trafficking in Stolen Property, and Theft/Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult.

From September 1, 2015 through December 5, 2015, Kathryn Hess was employed by several Tucson caregiving agencies where she provided in-home caregiving services to the elderly and vulnerable adult clients.  Hess is alleged to have stolen checkbooks, cash, credit cards, and personal items belonging to the elderly clients she was assigned to provide care to.  Hess is alleged to have forged checks, and with the assistance of her associates, cashed them at local banks.  Additionally, Hess is alleged to have pawned jewelry and other valuables belonging to her clients.  To date, the investigation has identified eight victims who are alleged to have suffered a total loss of more than $34,000.

The criminal investigation began when Sgt. Rick Radinsky from the Tucson Police Department (TPD) contacted the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.  TPD had been called to investigate theft reports from four different victims who Hess had been providing care to.  Detective Mike Cruce from the Oro Valley Police Department (OVPD) also investigated two additional victim reports in Oro Valley.  Special Agents with the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Section of the Attorney General’s Office investigated the cases with TPD, OVPD, and Adult Protective Services.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this case is urged to call the Arizona Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud and Abuse Section at (602) 542-2124 in Phoenix, (844) 894-4735 (toll free), or (602) 542-7918 (Español) or, email seniorabuse@azag.gov.

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jesse Delaney.

For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Spokesperson and Director of Media Relations at 602-339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov