WATERVLIET, N.Y. - A Watervliet woman is accused of stealing more than $100,000 in checks from an elderly neighbor.
According to her indictment, Christina Yerry stole money and the identity of a 72-year-old neighbor since 2009.
The victim did not want to speak with NEWS10 ABC on camera for fear it may hurt her case, but family members say Yerry had known the victim for more than 20 years.
"She was terrific at lying,” they said.
The victim claims that as her husband suffered from emphysema, Yerry stepped in to help sort out mail and bills, in order to alleviate stress.
"We thought she was a godsend,” the family said.
The family says Yerry worked to gain the family's trust. According to court documents though, she began taking checks, even opening up a PO Box under the victim's name without her permission. Yerry allegedly took money out over a course of five years.
"Essentially it was a long drawn out scheme,” said Daniel Lynch, with Albany County D.A.'s Financial Crime Unit.
According to Lynch, it was family members close to the victim that first notified authorities. Those family members tell NEWS10 ABC that they wish they had caught on sooner.
"It breaks a lot of trust, because we trusted her so much, to be able to have trust in people again would be almost impossible,” said the family.
Yerry was indicted on six charges relating to the case on August 1. After being notified of her arrest warrant, Yerry surrendered herself to state police. She was arraigned on charges on Thursday in Albany County Court before being released on $25,000 bail. She is back living at home, across from the victim.
"Ms. Yerry's character and history are beyond reproach, and she is eager to face down these misleading accusations," says Attorney James Knox, Yerry's lawyer.