Caretaker who spent deceased client’s money pleads guilty

Friday, November 10, 2017 at 4:57 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 34-year-old Winlock woman accused of taking over bank accounts of a woman who was hospitalized and then died has pleaded guilty as charged.

Aurora S. Fulmer, who also uses the last name of Contreras, was arrested in June and after she was charged, was allowed release pending trial on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

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Aurora S. Fulmer

She pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court to one count of second-degree theft (more than $750 but less than $5,000) and three counts of second-degree identity theft.

The situation came to the attention of authorities early this year after the woman’s estranged daughter learned her mother had died and then found Fulmer at her mother’s home on the 100 block of Fircrest Road in Centralia.

Fulmer told investigators she had been the dead woman’s caregiver and that the woman told her she could have her money and her Centralia house, according to court documents.

She produced a power of attorney, with the mother’s partner listed as the agent, but it was crossed or whited out and replaced with Fulmer’s name.

She also left a copy of the will at the deceased woman’s attorney’s office, with her own name handwritten on the documents and initialed with the woman’s initials, but it not certified.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office initially suggested Fulmer wrongfully withdrew more than $43,000 from two of the woman’s accounts. A detective collected documents linking Fulmer to expenditures after the woman’s death such as an $84 piercing in Longview on Jan. 13, a $238 jewelry store purchase three days later and a K-Mart/Western Union money transfer of $540.

Her lawyer Shane O’Rourke said after her court hearing it wasn’t disputed she was the woman’s caregiver, but it was debated if the woman intended to leave her everything.

But that was irrelevant, O’Rourke said, because those things have to go through probate.

“You can’t just start spending it,” O’Rourke said. “She was wrong about that and she knows that now.”

Fulmer is facing a standard sentencing range of 12 to 14 months when she returns to court on Dec. 7.

Fulmer is in treatment for chemical dependency and has six children, according to O’Rourke. He is planning to get her screened to find if she is eligible for a parenting sentencing alternative, he said.
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For background, read “Daughter found stranger living in her dead mother’s Centralia home” from Monday June 26, 2017, here

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One Response to “Caretaker who spent deceased client’s money pleads guilty”

  1. BobbyinLC says:

    Six kids and chemical dependency? Yikes.

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