DA: Caregiver charged in elderly woman’s death embezzled $100K


FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A Westport woman is facing serious charges that she caused a woman’s death by way of neglect and stole $100,000 from her in the process.

A Bristol County grand jury handed up an indictment in March charging Charlotte Medeiros, 66, in the 2017 death of Cecile Fairhurst, the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced Tuesday.

Fairhurst, 80, was hospitalized on Jan. 16, 2017, and died there nine days later. Her weight had dropped 50 pounds in the last months of her life, Quinn’s office said, and it was determined that malnutrition and bed sores contributed to her death.

Investigators determined that Fairhurst suffered a stroke in Sept. 2013 and was homebound starting in 2014. According to Quinn’s office, she lived in one unit of a Westport duplex while the other side was occupied by Medeiros and her family.

Medeiros was Fairhurst’s longtime friend, caregiver and health care proxy, and she also had power of attorney over Fairhurst’s finances, Quinn’s office said. Prosecutors allege she failed to provide adequate medical attention to Fairhurst, as it appeared she had not received professional medical care in the 18 months prior to her death.

Prosecutors also allege that in November 2013 Medeiros withdrew approximately $100,000 from Fairhurst’s checking account with one bank and deposited it into Fairhurst’s savings account at another bank. Then, she allegedly withdrew $104,186.89 from that account and closed it, before transferring the money to her son and his wife, Clifford and Kristin Medeiros. 

Prosecutors said the couple spent all of the money by July 2014 and it did not appear that any was spent for Fairhurst’s benefit.

Charlotte Medeiros was arraigned last week in Fall River Superior Court on charges of involuntary manslaughter, neglect of an elderly person, trustee embezzlement and larceny over $250. She pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.

Clifford Medeiros, 47, and Kristin Medeiros, 43, were also indicted on charges of receiving stolen property and larceny over $250. Both pleaded not guilty. Kristen was released on personal recognizance while Clifford was held on $25,000 bail. Court documents obtained by Eyewitness News revealed he has a criminal history of “violence, guns” and a background of “drug addiction and gambling addiction.”

All three are due back in court May 29 for pretrial conference.

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