Olympia woman accused of stealing from disabled client’s Disneyland fund

Staff writerJune 20, 2014 

A 26-year-old woman formerly employed with an Olympia organization that provides support for adults with developmental disabilities is accused in court papers of stealing $980 from a client who was saving for a trip to Disneyland.

Merely Cisneros Valdespino, formerly employed as a house manager for Citizen Access Residential Resources on Harrison Avenue in Olympia, is charged with second-degree theft in Thurston County Superior Court. Cisneros, who lists an Olympia address, will be arraigned on July 1.

Cisneros was formerly employed as a house manager at one of the agency’s locations, and was in charge of her clients’ checkbooks, court papers state.

“Her duties included taking clients to appointments and assisting them with their banking,” according to court papers.

The victim in the case is a mentally disabled adult who had a savings account set up that she was using to save for a trip to Disneyland. “It is against agency policy to withdraw any cash from a client’s savings account,” court documents state.

Cisneros is accused of taking taking her client to a bank in April and withdrawing, then stealing $980 cash from her account. Cisneros later told the woman the money would be spent on the client’s trip to Disneyland.

Citizen Access Residential Resources’ financial oversight program manager discovered the alleged theft and reported it to the Olympia Police Department.

When an Olympia police officer spoke to Cisneros, she admitted to the theft, stating “she had fallen on hard times and her wages have recently been garnished due to her divorce and debts,” court papers state. “She needed to pay some bills so she would not lose her car.”

Officials at Citizen Access Residential Resources could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

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