Sonora, California – Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg announced today that Julie Ann Tidball, 54, of Sonora, was sentenced by the Honorable Judge James Boscoe on October 26, 2015 to 8 years and 4 months in state prison for crimes relating to her taking money from an elderly couple that she was being paid to look after. Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who handles all elder abuse cases, was the prosecutor for the People .
In 2013 the victims Mr. and Mrs. C, who were 89 at the time, hired Tidball to be their caregiver. Not long after being hired Tidball approached the victims and offered to quit her employment (as a caregiver for a local agency) and work full time for them. This included Tidball taking Mr. C for shopping trips around the county, doing grocery shopping for Mrs. C and taking care of their finances. In 2014 Mr. C fell and was placed in a care facility. Mrs. C began to rely on Tidball to the point that when Mrs. C’s daughter reported suspected financial abuse to Adult Protective Services in 2014 Mrs. C supported Tidball and vouched for her integrity. It wasn’t until January of 2015 that Mrs. C determined that thousands of dollars were missing from her account. A later investigation turned up that over $7,000 was stolen from her account, via the use of a debit card, and an additional $14,400 was taken from Mr. C’s account. Records from local casinos showed that Mrs. C’s access card was being used repeatedly despite Mrs. C having only gambled on a few isolated occasions, and it appeared that multiple withdrawals were occurring on the same day. When the thefts were discovered Tidball claimed she was on the East Coast on family matters and apologized over the phone to the victim for stealing while asking her not to tell her family. Mrs. C did tell her family and the resultant investigation turned up evidence of the thefts by Tidball.
On September 28, 2015 Tidball entered pleas of guilty to one count of First Degree Residential Burglary with an enhancement for the victim being elderly, two counts of felony Theft from an Elder (one count each for Mr. and Mrs. C), and two counts of Identity Theft. The maximum sentence Tidball could have faced was 16 years 10 months in state prison. Tidball will likely serve over 4 year in prison before being eligible for parole.