Ex-care home owner convicted of three counts, acquitted of four in theft from client

PORT ANGELES — The former owner of an assisted living facility was found guilty Wednesday of stealing $7,000 from one of her clients who had dementia and of money laundering, but was acquitted on four counts of theft.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Ken Williams convicted Port Angeles resident Rhonda Goudie, who had waived her right to a jury trial, of two counts of first-degree theft and one count of money laundering.

Williams, citing insufficient evidence, acquitted her on four other counts of first-degree theft.

Goudie, 45, who operated Olympic RN Homecare in Port Angeles, was charged with stealing the funds from Truman Curry by asking him to write multiple rent checks during the same month.

His rent was $3,500 a month, and the judge convicted her of billing Curry twice when he had already paid rent for the month.

Goudie will be sentenced Thursday, Oct. 21. Williams authorized an “aggravating” enhancement to the conviction, which would allow for a sentence beyond the maximum 10 years imprisonment for each count, because she used a position of trust to steal the money.

Port Angeles police said Curry had made six overpayments totaling $21,000, from January through May 2009.

The state Department of Social and Health Services, which notified police of the overpayments, closed the facility June 2009.

The money was returned to Curry.

He died before the case was brought to trial.

Williams, when citing why there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Goudie was responsible for all of the overpayments, said it was unclear when at least one of the checks was written.

Also, some checks were stamped instead of endorsed with a signature.

Karen Unger, Goudie’s attorney, said after the verdict that the four acquittals showed that the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office had a weak argument.

“If the state thought they had a good case, why not prove all six of them?” she said.

Deb Kelly, county prosecuting attorney, said she considered the case a success, adding that it was made more difficult than usual because the victim, Curry, died before he could take the stand.

“The defense’s position was that this was all a mistake, that no crime was committed at all,” she said.

“The conviction on three counts shows that the court didn’t believe that.”

Unger argued in court that other employees — including the manager, who had access to the company’s debit card — were responsible for the overpayments.

Williams concluded that the evidence did not support that claim. The manager, Jeannette Dewater, testified that she didn’t know the personal identification number.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

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