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Plea expected from woman who allegedly stole from elderly couple

Union Leader Correspondent

June 16. 2013 9:43PM

A former nurse's aide at Exeter Hospital intends to plead guilty to charges that she stole $2,000 from an elderly North Hampton couple while she was providing home care for them.

Valerie Trunfio, 37, of Hampton is facing charges of forgery and receiving stolen property for allegedly writing five checks to herself while caring for the couple last May.

Prosecutors also indicted Trunfio for receiving stolen property after North Hampton police said she was in possession of an oxygen monitor that belonged to Exeter Hospital.

Terms of her plea deal have not yet been made public. The five counts of forgery are punishable by up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison.North Hampton police arrested Trunfio in August after the son of the victims began reviewing his parent's checkbook.

He saw several checks written to Trunfio in addition to what his mother had paid for her weekly services, according to a police affidavit.

Trunfio cashed five checks which she wrote out to herself totaling $2,000 during a 16-day period, police said.

She allegedly cashed the checks at banks in Hampton and North Hampton. Police obtained video footage from two Hampton banks showing Trunfio cashing the checks.

North Hampton police Detective Peter Cormier and Hampton police Detective Chris Gilroy interviewed Trunfio and confronted her with the surveillance footage and four of the signed checks.

Trunfio admitted to police she wrote out and signed the checks herself, claiming she was allowed to do so, Cormier said in a sworn affidavit.

But the elderly woman told police that she never gave Trunfio permission to write her own checks from the account. The woman also mentioned to police that Trunfio left behind an oxygen monitor at the home as well.

Detectives forwarded a serial number and other information about the monitor to Exeter police, which was investigating "multiple thefts from Exeter Hospital with Trunfio as a suspect," Cormier said in his affidavit.

She has not been charged with any other theft from the hospital.

Exeter police matched the monitor's serial number to the one found in North Hampton, police said. The monitor was previously in a section of the hospital where Trunfio worked, according to Cormier.

Trunfio is expected to enter her plea on June 25 in Rockingham County Superior Court. A grand jury indicted her in January.

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