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Forgery sentence nearly 5 years

A Stafford County woman who used her position as a caretaker to rip off defenseless victims was ordered Monday to serve just under five years in prison.

Terry Lynn Hunter, 44, was sentenced in Stafford Circuit Court to a total of 82 years with all but four years and nine months suspended.

She was convicted of 17 charges, including multiple counts of forgery, fraud and identity theft.

Judge Michael Levy’s sentence was above the recommended state sentencing guidelines, which called for a maximum of just over three years to serve.

According to prosecutor George Elsasser, Hunter was providing health care services for a woman in a Stafford assisted living facility in January of last year.

She obtained enough information from the woman to get into her accounts and establish new personal identification numbers.

She took money from the accounts and set up credit card accounts using the woman’s information.

Elsasser said Hunter was free on bond on charges involving that victim when she began working for a man in his home.

The man is in his 50s, Elsasser said, and suffers from dementia.

She stole money from that man as well, and used part of the stolen funds to pay for an attorney to represent her in the initial case.

Hunter was ordered to make restitution totaling $4,500 and to never again work in the health care field.

“These were horrendous breaches of trust,” Elsasser said. “She took advantage of some of our most vulnerable members of the community.”

Hunter is also being investigated by federal authorities in connection with third case involving an older Stafford resident.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Stafford Circuit Court, Hunter began caring for that woman in November and immediately began stealing from her.

Hunter later made purchases from jail by contacting an out-of-state relative and giving her the woman’s information.

The recorded calls were retrieved by Stafford Detective Christine Hammond, the affidavit states.

Elsasser said federal investigators have taken over that case in part because it involves suspects in different states.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404