MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Columns

March 12, 2010

Violating trust is one of the worst crimes

Someone once said, “Trust is like a vase … once it’s broken, though you can fix it, the vase will never be the same again.”

Nowadays it seems you can’t open the paper without reading reports of people shamelessly violating the trust of a person or organization.

And none of these reports could be less gut-wrenching and awful than when it was reported that Frank A. Solensky Jr. of Windber, Pa., admitted in Cambria County Court last Thursday that he had stolen more than $600,000 from a 93-year-old West Hills woman while working for her as a handyman and caregiver over the course of eight years.

“”He pleaded guilty to nine felony counts of theft by deception and one count of forgery. This caregiver was reimbursed by the woman at greatly inflated purchase prices for various household repairs, equipment and goods.

This trusted caregiver charged this grandmother $950 for salt on her driveway and he hit her up for seven garage-door openers at $2,500 each. Get this, the remote-control openers can be purchased for less than $40 each. This kind, caring handyman would also have this 93-year-old grandmother make out checks to himself “so as to get contractors’ (lower) prices.” He forged the victim’s name on a vehicle transfer form when he bought a 2008 Chevrolet that she had never authorized.

What a caregiver! What do you think?

Caregiver of the Year award!

Folks, how would you feel if this happened to your mother or father or grandparents?

Ninety-three-year-old victims come from the greatest generation, people whose word was their bond. They were raised and taught to be honest and fair.

Many have lost their companions and are living alone, forced to navigate a complicated world they are sometimes incapable of truly understanding. They often must put their trust in people they think are trustworthy, people they believe were raised as they were raised, only to find out too late the very ones they trusted are actually wolves in sheeps’ clothing.

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