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Woman pleads guilty to financial exploitation

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A Rochester woman accused of taking more than $50,000 from two people in her care has entered a plea in the case.

Kelly Lynne Johnson, 47, was charged in July with 12 felony counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. She pleaded guilty to two of the counts Friday in Olmsted County District Court; the remaining counts are expected to be dismissed.

Sentencing has been set for April 25.

The investigation began last April, when the first victim's caregiver reported that the man's bills weren't being paid. The caregiver said Johnson has power of attorney for the man and is responsible for all of his bills and finances, including home health care, prescriptions and dentist bills.

The investigator obtained copies of Johnson's and the victim's financial records and determined Johnson had been using the man's money for herself, the complaint says. In addition to "a large number of transfers" into Johnson's own account, two loans were reportedly taken out in the victim's name, signed only by Johnson as power of attorney.

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From August 2012 through April 2015, Johnson allegedly took $37,163.57 from the man's accounts for her personal use.

During the course of that investigation, the deputy learned Johnson was not paying for prescriptions in another case. That victim was a 96-year-old woman for whom Johnson also had power of attorney, the complaint says.

The investigator again obtained financial records for Johnson and the victim. According to court documents, Johnson used $13,271.27 of the woman's money for her own needs between September 2012 and April 2015.

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