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Woman pleads guilty to financial elder abuse in Tigard

Moana Lori Gentry gets six months in jail on eight counts of aggravated theft, criminal mistreatment

HILLSBORO - Moana Lori Gentry, who was arrested nearly a year ago on charges connected with bilking an elderly Tigard woman out of most of her estate, pled guilty last week in Washington County Circuit Court and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Gentry pled guilty to four counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and four counts of first-degree aggravated theft.

A Tigard police detective arrested Gentry on Dec. 30, 2005, following nearly six months of investigation that included getting a subpoena to look into her bank accounts, and a Washington County grand jury indicted her on the eight counts.

The victim, who was 85 years old at the time of Gentry's arrest, knew her for about 25 years, according to Jim Wolf, Tigard police public information officer.

'They had become acquainted at a church they both attended,' he said earlier this year. 'Gentry had begun to become very much occupied in the victim's life during 2002, including increased, significant financial involvement.'

Tigard police began investing Gentry in June 2005 after a court-appointed conservator for the victim contacted them when it became apparent that funds belonging to the victim may have been misappropriated, Wolf said.

'Tigard investigators began to uncover a host of unauthorized monetary transactions that appeared to benefit Gentry,' Wolf said. 'Part of the trail revealed money which funded vacations, credit card payments and even a purchase of a home.'

According to Wolf, only about one in six cases of elder financial abuse is estimated to be reported.

'Many times, the victim is unaware (that he or she has) been victimized,' he said. 'Lack of reporting makes abuse easier for those prone to take advantage of an aging population. Family members, friends and neighbors can also watch for and report financial abuse.'

For more information on this subject, people or visit the National Center on Elder Abuse Web site at www.elderabusecenter.org or they may call Adult Protective Services at 503-640-3489.