Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release
Caregiver of Retired Firefighter Sentenced
Santa Rosa, CA – May 12, 2016 – District Attorney Jill Ravitch has announced that earlier today defendant Kimberly Van Vorst was sentenced after having previously pled guilty to charges of theft while acting as a caregiver for a medically retired San Francisco firefighter who was injured in the line of duty. The defendant entered a plea of no contest in April to all four felony charges alleged against her. The charges included theft against a dependent adult by a caregiver, forgery, grand theft, and unauthorized use of an access card. The defendant also admitted an enhancement alleging theft of over sixty-five thousand dollars.
The Honorable Jamie Thistlethwaite sentenced Van Vorst to probation while also suspending a five year prison sentence, and imposing one year in county jail.
District Attorney Jill Ravitch stated, “The victim here was particularly vulnerable, which makes this case all the more tragic. The Court chose to suspend a state prison sentence instead of imposing it today. We did not agree with that decision. Nevertheless, the defendant will be required to spend a lengthy period of time in jail and will be required to pay restitution to the victim.”
The victim was a medically retired San Francisco firefighter who was injured in the line of duty in 1995 and suffered serious brain damage that left her legally blind and requiring the assistance of a caregiver. The defendant became employed as her caregiver for approximately a year and half. During that period of time the victim’s mother, who was living in the victim’s home, passed away. She left her daughter $90,000. Subsequently, the defendant issued herself checks from the victim’s account, made ATM withdrawals, and made numerous charges on the victim’s credit card.
A later investigation determined that the defendant used the funds to pay for trips, gifts to inmates at the Sonoma County jail, and methamphetamine. The victim only became aware of the thefts when Defendant left her employment and a new caregiver began reviewing her financial records.